by Mike Potter
DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK — The Durham Bulls got themselves into a big hole with a rough road trip, and tonight they’ll look for a way to begin climbing out.
And the Bulls come into the contest 10½ games out of the nearest playoff spot.
The Bulls will send Jim Paduch (4-7, 5.45) to the hill against the IronPigs’ Scott Elarton (5-7, 5.21).
Tonight Paduch is good enough for the win and his teammates help him offensively in an 8-6 victory that ends the streak.
Durham takes a 1-0 lead in the first as Stephen Vogt doubles to right and scores on Henry Wrigley’s one-out sacrifice fly to center.
Lehigh Valley evens the score in the second. Cody Overbeck reaches on Paduch’s two-out throwing error and scores on Pete Orr’s double to left.
The Bulls take the lead again in the bottom of the frame as Leslie Anderson leads off with a single and scores on Jesus Feliciano’s two-out single to center.
The IronPigs score twice in the fourth on an Overbeck double and an Orr single, but the Bulls score three runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth to make it 8-3. The visitors load the bases with two out in the sixth, but
Cesar Ramos comes on for Paduch and gets out of the jam in one pitch.
Lehigh Valley rallies late, scoring one in the eighth and two in the ninth and before getting the tying run to the plate, but Dane De La Rosa ends the rally for his 11th save of the season.
Feliciano finishes with three hits including the double for four RBI, while Matt Mangini adds three hits for two RBI and Vogt doubles and singles with the RBI.
Paduch goes the 5 2/3 innings and allows three runs — two earned — on six hits with neither a walk nor a strikeout.
In an oddity, the three Bulls pitchers neither walk nor strike out anyone.
They said it …
Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo: “When you’re trying to end a losing streak it’s never easy. Paduch battled through some trouble and that was big. And Ramos came on and did a great job. The offense was good today. When we swing the bats like that, we win games.”
Paduch: “We knew we were going to get out of the streak eventually. I figured I needed a strong outing and the bats were going to come alive. It takes timely hitting, and tonight we got it.”
Feliciano: “We’ve been battling since the All-Star Break. But we came to the ballpark tonight and got a great win. It was a good effort from everybody. We know with the lineup we have, on a given night anyone can be the guy.”
What does it all mean?
That the Bulls still need to string together a few more wins to get their momentum back.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Ramos’ pitch to get Orr to ground out and end the sixth-inning rally.
Bulls: Won 1.
Lehigh Valley: Lost 1.
Bulls (Matt Torra 8-6, 4.22) vs. Lehigh Valley (Pat Misch 7-10, 4.50), Wednesday, 7:05 p.m.