DURHAM, N.C. - The Durham Bulls ran into a trio of home runs and a pair of rain delays early in Monday night's game and were never able to battle back, as the Bulls dropped the first game of their three-game series against the Louisville Bats 5-2 at the DBAP.
The visiting Bats launched three homers against Bulls starting pitcher Michael Roth over the first two innings to help put Durham in a quick 4-0 hole. Before the Bulls could respond the rain began to fall, resulting in a pair of delays lasting 33 minutes apiece. When play finally resumed the home team was never able to build enough momentum to rally back, eventually falling 5-2.
Louisville wasted no time in jumping ahead of Durham, with back-to-back solo homers by Adam Brett Walker and Scott Van Slyke giving the Bats a 2-0 lead in the first. The road team then doubled their advantage in the second, as Alex Blandino lined a solo shot to center field before Darnell Sweeney roped an RBI triple four batters later for a 4-0 score.
The game experienced its first rain delay in the top of the third, before the Bulls got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning on a bases loaded, RBI single by Willy Adames that cut the deficit to 4-1. The top of the fourth brought the night's second rain delay. Once the field was cleared, Phillip Ervin added to the Bats' advantage with an RBI single for a 5-1 score.
Durham picked up one last tally in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a leadoff, solo homer off the bat of Taylor Featherston , but that would be as close as the home team would get in the eventual 5-2 defeat.
Adames led the Bulls' bats on the night, going 2-3 with an RBI and a walk, while Featherston finished 2-4 with a solo homer.
Roth (2-4) took the loss after allowing all five Bats runs, four earned, on six hits, two walks, and two strikeouts over 3.1 innings pitched. Louisville relievers Kyle McMyne (4-1) earned the win with one run given up over his three innings of work.
The Bulls (70-44) will look to bounce back in game two of the series Tuesday night, with RHP Brent Honeywell (11-7, 3.95) taking on RHP Tyler Mahle (2-3, 2.76) at 7:05 pm.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.