DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls dropped a 4-3 decision to the Columbus Clippers Friday night at the DBAP, as the Bulls lost their second straight to open the series.
The Bulls (18-11) twice battled back from deficits in the game. After surrendering a first-inning run, Wilson Betemit had an RBI double and Vince Belnome drove him in with a triple off the wall to put the Bulls on top 2-1 in the bottom of the first.
Starter Mike Montgomery, making his first start since pitching 8 1/3 innings of a Bulls no-hitter, gave up a double on his second pitch of the game. He settled down after that, allowing just three more hits over the next five innings.
Montgomery ran into trouble in the sixth, however. Tim Fedroff led off with a single, and Carlos Moncrief doubled him to third. Ryan Rohlinger then hit a slow roller to first, and Montgomery couldn't hold onto Belnome's throw as he tried to cover the bag. Two runs scored, giving Columbus a 3-2 advantage.
The Bulls tied the game in the seventh on Ali Solis' RBI single, but reliever Steve Geltz walked the first batter he faced in the top of the eighth, and a double by Rohlinger and sacrifice fly by Matt Carson gave Columbus (13-13) the go-ahead run.
Mike Zagurski (1-0, 2.53) got the win in relief, tossing 2/3 of an inning, while Mark Lowe pitched the ninth to pick up his sixth save. Geltz (2-2, 3.86) took the loss, surrendering a run in two innings of work. Southpaw Jeff Beliveau was strong out of the bullpen once again for Durham, turning in 1 2/3 scoreless frames as he's yet to allow a run to score at the Triple-A level this season.
The Bulls and Clippers play game three of their four-game set Saturday at 5:05 p.m., with the Bulls looking to earn their first win of the series. RHP Merrill Kelly (4-0, 2.10) squares off against Columbus RHP Trevor Bauer (3-0, 1.40).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.