by Mike Potter
DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK Once again the Durham Bulls will try to break an extended losing streak as they play the second of a four-game set of another team that has been struggling.
The heat is turned up a bit for the first time in a while, as temperatures are in the mid-80s for the first pitch of the late-afternoon contest.
Matt Torra (4-6, 5.02), just off the disabled list, will take on the Mud Hens’ Brooks Brown (1-1, 4.35).
Torra goes five solid innings and gets all the run support he needs, as the Bulls roll to a 7-1 victory.
Toledo takes a 1-0 lead in the second, as Brad Eldred leads off by launching a 1-2 offering off the third deck of the building behind the Blue Monster in left.
But the Bulls respond with two in the third. With one out, Rich Thompson walks followed by a single to right from Stephen Vogt. Jesus Feliciano then hits a sacrifice fly to right, followed by Leslie Anderson’s RBI double to right.
And the Bulls add a five-run rally in the fifth. Vogt leads off with a single to right and advances on Feliciano’s bunt single to the right side. Then with one out Henry Wrigley rips an RBI single to right to score Vogt and chase Brown.
Matt Mangini greets Matt Hoffman with a single up the middle to make it 4-1. Reid Brignac follows with a single to left and Jeff Salazar lines an RBI single to right, followed by Cole Figueroa’s two-run single to right.
Torra goes five innings and gives up one run on three hits with six strikeouts against one walk.
Anderson leads the Bulls with three hits including a double and an RBI, while Vogt chips in three hits in Durham’s 15-hit attack. Figueroa has two hits with two RBI and Wrigley two hits with an RBI as every Bull hits safely.
Eldred homers and singles to lead Toledo.
Brown lasts 4 2/3 innings and gives up five runs on nine hits, striking out two against one walk.
They said it …
Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo: “Bulls win! Bulls win! When a team’s struggling what you need is good pitching. Torra did an outstanding job and gave us a chance. He’s steady and is going to answer the bell. He throws strikes, and it’s tough to just get hits and hits when a guy doesn’t walk anybody. That fifth inning was great. It was a lot of fun. I hope we can do it again.”
Vogt: “It was a good day. We joke around about it, but we probably lead the league in singles and it was good to string some together. It takes one person getting a big timely hit and we just roll from there. We hate losing. We knew we needed to get kind of a shutdown game and Torra absolutely did that for us.”
Wrigley: “They always say hitting is contagious and that was definitely the case today. The way Matt pitched was very important, throwing strikes and getting outs. He pitches to contact and does a good job with it. It’s so much better for everybody when you win. Everybody’s spirits are up now."
What does it all mean?
That when the Bulls get good pitching, the defense and hitting seem to follow.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Figueroa’s two-run single.
Bulls: Won 1.
Toledo: Lost 1.
Bulls (Lance Pendleton 2-2, 3.55) vs. Toledo (Thad Weber 4-4, 3.05), Monday, 7:05 p.m.