BY HAROLD GUTMANN
DURHAM — After relying on a red-hot offense to win five games in a row, the Durham Bulls finally went cold on Tuesday.
The Bulls mustered just seven hits, including six singles, as the Syracuse Chiefs won 3-2 in 12 innings at Durham Bulls Athletic Park to earn their ninth consecutive victory.
“Pitching gave us a chance all night, and we just couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We’ve been so hot, but I could sense it (wouldn’t last). (Syracuse starter John Lannan) wasn’t making big pitches but he was getting us out.”
The Bulls hadn’t played that many innings since their 12-inning victory on opening day.
After each team scored a run in the 11th, Syracuse (41-37) loaded the bases on a leadoff single by Corey Brown and two intentional walks in the 12th. With two outs, Jim Negrych hit a comebacker off pitcher Ryan Reid (4-1) that deflected to Reid Brignac, but the shortstop bounced an off-balance throw to first that couldn’t be fielded cleanly by Brandon Allen.
Durham (37-43) went down in order in the bottom of the inning to cap the four-hour, 12-minute game, the Bulls’ longest of the season.
The Bulls had scored 49 runs during their season-high five-game winning streak and had eight straight games with at least 10 hits. The offensive explosion had brought the Bulls into a tie for third in the IL South Division for the first time since June 4, and within seven games of first-place Charlotte for the first time since April 23.
But they finally met their match against Major League veteran John Lannan, who made 128 starts with the Washington Nationals from 2007-11.
In his 6.1 innings, Lannan allowed five hits and five walks and the Bulls got a runner into scoring position in five innings, but the Syracuse lefty allowed just one run to score.
That’s when catcher Chris Gimenez (3-for-5) led off the fourth inning with a walk, went to third on a bouncer through the right side by Brandon Allen and scored on a single up the middle by Tim Beckham.
It was the first RBI for Beckham since April 13. The 2008 No. 1 overall pick was put on the DL on April 20 and then served a 50-game suspension starting April 30 for failing a second drug test. He returned to the lineup on Monday.
Lannan finally departed in the seventh after issuing back-to-back walks, but reliever Atahualpa Severino struck out Luke Scott on a 94 mph fastball and then struck out Stephen Vogt to end the inning.
Scott, the Rays designated hitter who hit two home runs Monday in his first game with the Bulls as part of his rehab assignment, went 1-for-5 on Tuesday.
Fellow rehabber Kyle Farnsworth, who served as the Rays closer last season, started the game for the Bulls.
Pitching for the first time since injuring his elbow in spring training, Farnsworth allowed a double to Erik Komatsu but also struck out two in one inning of work. He threw 13 pitches, 10 for strikes, and is expected to pitch an inning of relief today.
Usual starter Matt Torra then came on in the second inning and continued his recent excellence.
Torra, who was 4-1 in his past six starts, allowed just four base runners and struck out six in 6.2 innings. But on his final pitch, Brown extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a home run to right field that tied the game at 1-1.
Syracuse threatened in the ninth when Dane De La Rosa walked leadoff hitter Chris Marrero on four pitches, and pinch runner Brett Carroll got to third base with two outs because of two wild pitches. But after walking Carlos Rivera on a 12-pitch at-bat, De La Rosa got Koyie Hill to ground out to first.
Bryan Augenstein worked around a throwing error by Brignac to start the 10th, but the Chiefs finally came though in the 11th. Mark Teahen led off with a bunt single and scored when Rivera’s single got past diving second baseman Tim Beckham with one out.
The Bulls got the run back quickly. Brignac walked — extending his on-base streak to 18 games — and went to third on a single by Matt Mangini. Jeff Salazar pushed the tying run home with a sacrifice bunt to the right side but that would be it for the Bulls, who fell to 7-5 in extra-inning games.
NOTES — The series continues today at 7:05 p.m. as Lance Pendleton (3-2, 3.52) faces Syracuse’s Tanner Roark (4-9, 5.37). The teams will also play Thursday and Friday at 7:05 p.m. … Leslie Anderson, who is tied for second in the IL with a .313 batting average, was placed on the seven-day DL retroactive to June 23 with a groin injury.
Chiefs 3, Bulls 2
Brown c cf|5|2|2|1|Thompson cf|4|0|0|0
Komatsu lf|6|0|2|0|Scott dh|5|0|1|0
Paul rf|3|0|0|0|Wrigley ph-dh|1|0|0|0
Marrero 1b|3|0|0|0|Vogt lf|4|0|0|0
Carroll pr|0|0|0|0|Gimenez c|5|1|3|0
Maldonado 1b|1|0|0|0|Allen 1b|6|0|1|0
Duke ph|0|0|0|0|Beckham 2b|5|0|1|1
Teahen dh-1b|5|1|1|0|Brignac ss|4|1|0|0
Negrych 2b|5|0|3|1|Mangini 3b|5|0|1|0
Rivero 3b|5|0|2|1|O’Malley pr-3b|0|0|0|0
Hill c|5|0|0|0|Salazar rf|2|0|0|1
E—Negrych, Brignac. DP—Syracuse 1, Durham 1. LOB—Syracuse 13, Durham 13. 2B—Komatsu, Negrych, Gimenez. HR—Brown (17). S—Brown, Negrych, Duke, Salazar. SB—Rivero (2).
Pena (W, 3-3)|1.2|1|1|1|2|3
Garcia (S, 2)|1.0|0|0|0|0|2
De Los Santos|0.1|1|0|0|0|1
De La Rosa|1.0|0|0|0|2|1
Reid (L, 4-1)|1.0|2|1|1|2|1
WP—De La Rosa 2, Reid. Umpires—HP, Ben May; 1B, Marcus Pattillo; 3B, David Soucy. T—4:12. A—6,923.
Article source: HeraldSun - Durham Bulls