DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls (3-3) used three-run third inning and another strong start from Anthony Banda to clinch the rubber match of a three-game series against the Gwinnett Stripers' (2-3), 5-2 on Wednesday night at the DBAP.
In the bottom of the third, Stripers starting pitcher Aaron Blair (0-1, 0.00) allowed two runs on one hit, three walks and one wild pitch. Blair was removed from the game after a wild pitch scored a run due to an injury. Striper's reliever David Peterson threw the second wild pitch of the inning and Brandon Snyder scored extending the Bulls lead to 3-0.
Micah Johnson doubled in the fourth inning and scored on a ground out by Jake Bauers adding to the Bulls lead, 4-0. Bauers was slow to get back to his feet after colliding with Carlos Franco at first, but made his way off the field and stayed in the game.
Banda (2-0, 0.87) was dominant in his second outing of the season holding the Stripers to one run on five hits, while punching out eight batters. Banda has recorded 16 strikeouts in two starts and has yet to walk a batter. Johnny Venters worked his way into and out of trouble in the sixth inning, walking the bases loaded with two outs, but got out of the jam with a groundout.
A solo-homer in the fifth inning by Danny Santana put the Stripers on the board, cutting the Bulls lead to 4-1. Durham answered with a leadoff double by Joe McCarthy and an RBI single by Justin Williams extending the lead to 5-1 through 5.0 innings.
Hunter Wood allowed a solo shot in the eighth to Carlos Franco, his only blemish in 1.1 innings on the mound with four strikeouts. Ryne Stanek closed out the ninth, earning his first save of the season. The Bulls pitching staff struck out 11, walked four and held Gwinnett to six hits.
The Durham Bulls split the home stand and hit the road to Columbus for four games, followed by Toledo for three from beginning Thursday with first pitch at 6:35 pm from Huntington Park. Forrest Snow (0-0, 5.40 ERA) is scheduled to make his first start of the season in game one against Adam Plutko (0-1, 7.20 ERA) for the Clippers.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.