DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls fell victim to a big inning Friday night while their late comeback attempt came up short, as the visiting Gwinnett Braves snapped the Bulls' four-game with streak with a 6-5 final in front of a season-high 9,640 fans at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The Bulls entered the sixth inning leading the Braves 4-1, before the home team committed three errors to help Gwinnett score five runs, two unearned, to take a 6-4 lead they would never relinquish. The loss marked just the second defeat this season for Durham, with both of them coming against Gwinnett.
Durham took a quick lead in the contest, as Willy Adames walked, advanced to third on a Jake Bauers single, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Casey Gillaspie for a 1-0 score in the bottom of the first. The Braves tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the third, when David Freitas doubled down the left field line and scored two batters later on a dropped ball by Bauers in left field.
The big blast for the Bulls came one frame later in the home half of the fourth, when DH Curt Casali lined an opposite field, three run home run to right to snap the tie and give Durham a 4-1 advantage. That lead would hold until fateful sixth frame, when the Braves used five hits and three Bulls errors to score five runs, three earned, and take a 6-4 lead.
Durham attempted to rally in the top of the eighth, when Adames lined what appeared to be a solo home run just over the Blue Monster in left field that would have cut the Bulls deficit to one. After initially ruling the hit a homer however, the umpires converged and changed it to a double. The Bulls would fail to score in the inning and would come up empty in the ninth as well to finish the game with the 6-4 loss.
Casali finished the game with his first multi-hit game of the season, going 2-4 with a homer and three RBI. Both Adames (2-3, 2B) and Bauers (2-4) ended the night with multi-hit games as well.
Starting pitcher Ryan Yarbrough (0-2) took the loss for Durham, after allowing six runs, three earned, on 10 hits and nine strikeouts over 5.1 innings pitched. Gwinnett reliever Jason Hursh(1-0) earned the win with 2.1 scoreless innings tossed out of the bullpen.
The Bulls (7-2) will look to start a new winning streak against the Braves (5-4) in game two of their three game set Saturday night, with Chase Whitley (0-0, 3.00) taking on Andrew Albers (0-0, 0.00) at 6:35 pm.
Every team wants a five-tool player. Finding future all-stars is hard, but health insurance doesn't have to be. Because Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has the tools to make using health care easy.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.