DURHAM, NC - Trailing by five runs after four innings, a late offensive push wasn't enough as the Durham Bulls fell to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 8-4 Saturday night at the DBAP.
The IronPigs touched home plate in the second inning with a two-run triple by Dean Anna (2-4, 2 RBI), extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Mitch Walding and Joey Meneses hit back-to-back doubles adding one run in the third inning, giving the IronPigs a 3-0 lead. Enyel De Los Santos (W, 1-0) earned his first victory of the season, limiting the Bulls to two runs on five hits over 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts.
Jake Bauers (1-3) drilled his fifth double of the season off the left-centerfiled wall in the home half of hte third and stole third base, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Willy Adames (1-3, 3 RBI) to cut the deficit to two runs, 3-1.
The IronPigs stretched their lead to 6-1 through four innings, with RBIs from Jesmuel Valentin, Dylan Cozens and Colin Cowgill, as the two through four hitters in the IronPigs batting order drove in a run apiece. Nick Rickles added an RBI in the seventh with a ground out to second, and in total the IronPigs posted eight runs on 11 hits.
Anthony Banda (L, 2-2) dropped his second consecutive start after beginning the season with a pair of wins. The southpaw allowed six runs on nine hits, but struck out eight batters to reach that mark for the third time ni four starts in 2018. Cody Hall posted zeros in the fifth and sixth innings with three strikeouts in relief.
In the fifth, Jake Cronenworth (2-3, 2B), singled and advanced to second no an error, then scored on an Adames single to left. Joe McCarthy (1-3) extended his league-leading on-base streak to 12 games with a single in the first.
The Bulls pitching staff recorded 15 strikeouts, and the bullpen continued to stymie opposing batters by allowing just one earned run across five frames.
The Bulls host the IronPigs in the finale of the three-game set scheduled for 5:05 p.m. on Sunday. RHP Chih-Wei Hu (0-1, 6.00) is scheduled to start for Durham against RHP Jake Thompson (0-0, 2.84) for Lehigh Valley.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.