Behind five runs in the game’s first four innings, and 16 strikeouts from the pitching staff, the Durham Bulls wrapped up their eight-game homestand at 5-3 with a 5-4 win over the Charlotte Knights Thursday afternoon at the DBAP.
The game started at 11 a.m. and was an education day as busloads of school children attended the game.
Durham got things going in the second inning, when the Bulls sent nine men to the plate. With runners on first and second and two outs, Knights’ shortstop Tyler Saladino made an errant throw to second on what would have been an inning-ending force out. Instead, the play extended the inning and allowed Jerry Sands to score the game’s first run. Robby Price then singled to score Mikie Mahtook, before Cole Figueroa was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score the third run of the inning as the Bulls took a 3-0 lead.
Two frames later Durham struck again, as Rodriguez drove in Mike Fontenot as the two tallied back-to-back doubles. Ray Olmedo then doubled to left-center after a sacrifice bunt to drive in Rodriguez to give the home side a 5-0 advantage.
In the fifth Charlotte (4-4) got to Bulls starter Matt Andriese, striking for three runs on four hits, including a two-run homer from Hector Gimenez to cut the lead to two. Then in the seventh the Knights scratched another run across, but went quietly in the final two innings as the Bulls held on for the win.
Right-hander Matt Andriese (1-1) picked up his first International League victory with five innings of three-run ball, while tying a career-high with eight strikeouts. Right-hander Brad Boxberger picked up a six-out save, his first save of 2014, striking out five over two scoreless frames. Southpaw Erik Surkamp (0-1) suffered the loss for the visitors, allowing five runs (two earned) over four innings on seven hits.
The Bulls hit the road for the first time this season as they embark on a five-game road trip beginning Friday, when they take on the Gwinnett Braves at 7:05 p.m. at Coolray Field. LHP Mike Montgomery (1-0, 0.00) is scheduled to throw for Durham against Gwinnett LHP Daniel Rodriguez (1-0, 1.80).