by Mike Potter
DBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls aren’t going to win their home series with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, but they still have a chance for a split with wins in the final two games.
So far the Yankees have come with dominant pitching, as the Bulls have scored four runs in the two games and all have come off homers.
Today the Bulls will go with Lance Cormier (0-1, 1.86) against Japanese southpaw Kei Igama (0-0, 0.84).
The starters battle and the score is tied after six, but the Bulls take advantage of the mound woes of former N.C. State star Andrew Brackman in a six-run seventh and coast to an 11-3 win.
The Bulls take a 3-0 lead in the second inning. After Dan Johnson draws a leadoff walk, Felipe Lopez drives the next pitch high over the Blue Monster wall in left.
SWB gets a run in the third as Doug Bernier draws a two-out walk and later scores on Kevin Russo’s two-out double to left.
The Yankees then tie it in the fourth, as Terry Tiffee follows a walk to Jesus Montero by launching the next pitch over the wall in left center.
The seventh is decisive after Igawa leaves the hill and Brackman comes on. With one out he walks J.J. Furmaniak and then uncorks a wild pitch. After Ray Olmedo walks, Robinson Chirinos is hit by a pitch. Brandon Guyer then hits a two-run double down the third-base line before Dan Johnson draws his third of four walks on the night. Josh Schmidt relieves Brackman (2-6), giving up a two-run double to Lopez and then a two-out, two-run double to Jose Lobaton.
The Bulls add two more in the ninth.
Lopez finishes with a homer, double and single for five RBI while Lobaton doubles twice for three RBI and Guyer doubles and singles for three RBI.
Dane De La Rosa (4-3) is the winning pitcher.
They said it …
Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo: “Our offense was pretty good there in the seventh. We’ve all seen it when teams are struggling a little bit and then you give them a couple of walks they start hitting, and I think that’s what happened there. We got some big hits. And our bullpen did a good job after we gave up those three runs.”
SWB manager Dave Miley: “We let a close game get out of hand. When you walk 10 guys and hit two that can happen, especially against a club like that. Kei did a good job. He bent a little bit but didn’t break, but he walked six himself. Overall six innings was what we were looking for. … The people in Scranton don’t need to know about (Brackman). We had some opportunities and didn’t cash in.”
Johnson: “The idea of going up there is to get your pitch, and if they’re not coming to you, you can’t make something out of what they’re throwing. It’s good to be patient and try to get your pitch and drive it and do something when you get the chance. But four hits are better than four walks.”
What does it all mean?
That for one night, the Durham bullpen was much better than Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Guyer’s double in the seventh.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre leads 2-1.
Bulls: Won 1.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: Lost 1.
Bulls (Alex Cobb 5-0, 1.14) vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (D.J. Mitchell 4-7, 3.79)