by Mike Potter
DBAP/DURHAM It’s yet another fine night for baseball in the Bull City, where Durham will take on the Louisville Bats in the third of their four-game series.
It’s tied at a game apiece, and both teams have obviously brought their bats with them.
Durham comes in with a two-game lead in the International League’s South Division, while Louisville would have the wild card if the season stopped today.
Durham has eliminated Louisville from the Governors’ Cup Playoffs each of the past two seasons, and adding even more spice to the rally is that about half the players on the Louisville team used to play for the Carolina Mudcats.
Both teams will send southpaws to the mound tonight, as Alex Torres (2-3, 2.21) will take the hill for Durham and Matt Maloney (2-0, 2.96) for Louisville.
Durham finishes with 16 hits and finishes big in a 12-6 victory.
Durham takes a 2-0 lead in the first. Desmond Jennings leads off with a double to right, then moves over on Justin Ruggiano’s infield hit scored an error to third baseman Todd Frazier. Felipe Lopez’ one-out double to left scores the runs.
Louisville cuts it to 2-1 in the second as Frazier draws a leadoff walk and later scores on catcher Robinson Chirinos’ throwing error.
The Bats then pour on four runs in the third. Yonder Alonso draws a one-out walk, followed by a single to right from
Juan Francisco and a two-out single to left from Jeremy Hermida. Devin Mesoraco follows with an RBI single to left before Chris Valaika rips a three-run double to right.
Leslie Anderson leads off the Bulls’ fourth by blasting a 1-0 pitch into the Diamond View seats in right.
Durham then ties it in the fifth. Jennings hits a double to left and steals third before scoring on Ruggiano’s single to left. Ruggiano then steals second and third before scoring on Lopez’ one-out single to left.
The Bulls take the lead again in the sixth, as Jennings blasts a two-out, 3-2 offering over the Blue Monster.
But the Bats tie it in the seventh as Zack Cozart walks and scores on Alonso’s double to left.
Durham then takes control in the seventh. Brandon Guyer leads off with a single to center, followed by a walk to Lopez. Jerry Gil comes on in relief of Maloney, and with one out Leslie Anderson rockets the first pitch he gets into the Diamond View seats in right to make it 9-6.
The Bulls add some insurance in the eighth. Ruggiano walks with one out and steals second, then scores on Lopez’ two-out single. Russ Canzler then finishes the scoring with a two-run single to right.
Anderson finishes with his second two-homer game in a week, knocking four hits with six RBI. Jennings adds his homer and two doubles, while Ruggiano adds a pair of hits and four stolen bases. Lopez chips in a double and two singles for four RBI.
Jake McGee (1-0) is the winning pitcher while Maloney (2-1) takes the loss.
They said it …
Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo: “It was a great game. You’ve got to keep going at it. If they get some runs, you’ve just got to keep scoring. That’s a good club. But our club’s pretty good, too. Anderson hits two whatever time. He hit two in Syracuse (May 13). I’m just hoping he hits like last year when he hit .300. Jennings hit a bomb, too.”
Anderson: “I’m not thinking about hitting two homers a game. I’m just trying to get hits. The team is working hard every day and I try to work hard, too. We know Louisville is a good-hitting team and we need to score a lot of runs to beat them.”
Jennings: “I felt good today. I got a 3-2 fastball with two out and put a good swing on it. They swing the bats probably better than anyone else in the league and we swing it pretty good, too. It’s hard to beat them with just a few runs. We just hope we have more than they do at the end.”
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Anderson’s second homer in the eighth inning.
Louisville leads 4-3.
Bulls: Won 2.
Louisville: Lost 2.
Bulls (Brian Baker 2-2, 4.34) vs. Louisville (Scott Carroll 1-1, 4.63).