SYRACUSE, NY - The Durham Bulls fell to the Syracuse Chiefs 8-5 Thursday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium, as the Chiefs earned the sweep in the four-game set.
Syracuse (18-15) struck first, plating a run in the second inning on an RBI single by Brian Goodwin. Then in the fourth the Chiefs opened the game up, scoring four runs behind a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, a two-run single by Jeff Howell and an RBI single by Emmanuel Burriss for a 5-0 advantage.
Durham (20-15) got a run back in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout by Mike Fontenot, but the Chiefs plated a trio of runs in the bottom of the frame to extend the lead to 8-1.
In the sixth, the Bulls plated their second run when Jerry Sands flew out to center field, scoring Kevin Kiermaier from third base. Then in the eighth Durham chipped into the Syracuse lead once again, as this time Sands scored on a Cole Figueroa single to center field. In the ninth Kiermaier did his best to mount a Bulls comeback, cranking a two-run dinger over the center field wall, but Durham could muster no more as they fell by three runs.
Southpaw Aaron Laffey (4-0) earned the win, tossing 6 1/3 frames while surrendering two runs, despite walking six. Left-hander Mike Mongtomery (3-1) suffered his first loss since Aug. 30, 2013, tying a career-high by surrendering 11 hits while allowing eight runs (seven earned) over 4 2/3 innings.
The Bulls head south for game one of a four-game series with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Friday at PNC Field. RHP Merrill Kelly (4-0, 1.67) is scheduled to start for Durham against Scranton/WB RHP Joel De La Cruz (1-0, 1.50). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
BULL-et Points: LHP Jeff Beliveau tossed a scoreless seventh inning, and has yet to give up a run this season in 16 2/3 innings between the Bulls and Tampa Bay Rays… Wilson Betemit went 0-for-4, snapping his eight-game hitting streak and 16-game on-base streak… The series marked the first time the Bulls had been swept in a four-game series since Aug. 10-13, 2012 at Toledo… The Bulls are now riding a season-long four-game losing skid… Durham has now lost seven straight road games, the most since they dropped their final seven road contests of 2012.