Bulls designated hitter Luke Raley ripped two home runs and drove in five runs and left fielder Grant Witherspoon walloped a solo blast, while starting pitcher Taj Bradley tossed his fourth straight quality outing in Durham’s 8-5 win over the Gwinnett Stripers on Friday night at Coolray Field. With the
Bulls designated hitter Luke Raley ripped two home runs and drove in five runs and left fielder Grant Witherspoon walloped a solo blast, while starting pitcher Taj Bradley tossed his fourth straight quality outing in Durham’s 8-5 win over the Gwinnett Stripers on Friday night at Coolray Field. With the win, the Bulls maintain their half-game lead in the International League East Division with eleven games remaining.
Raley’s first blast, a solo shot in the second, gave Durham the early 1-0 advantage, though the Stripers answered with a single tally of their own in the last of the second. Raley would strike again one inning later, though, crushing a three-run shot as part of a five-run third that also saw Witherspoon leave the yard to make it a 6-1 lead. After Gwinnett narrowed their deficit to 6-3 in the fourth, both teams would trade a single tally before Raley drove in his fifth run of the evening in the ninth.
Raley led all batters with his three knocks, while SS Vidal Brujan (2-4, 2 R), CF Miles Mastrobuoni (2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB) and 1B Tristan Gray (2-4) adding multi-hit efforts of their own. Mastrobuoni has now recorded 146 hits this season, leading all International League hitters. Witherspoon, meanwhile, became the tenth different Durham batter to record ten home runs this season, the most of any team in the circuit.
Bradley (6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 6 SO) earned the victory to improve to 3-3 after firing his fourth consecutive quality outing. Over his last four starts, The 21-year-old owns a 2-0 record and 2.25 ERA, adding 23 strikeouts compared to five walks. Durham reliever Dusten Knight (1.2 IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, 2 SO) notched his team-best 11th save, while Stripers starter Mike Soroka (5.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, BB, 6 SO) suffered the defeat.
The two teams are set to continue their six-game set on Saturday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm. Durham’s starter has not yet been determined, while RHP Darius Vines is expected to get the nod for Gwinnett.
Durham returns home for their final homestand of the 2022 campaign on Tuesday, September 20 to face off against the Baltimore Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate Norfolk Tides. First pitch of the series opener at Durham Bulls Athletic Park is set for 6:35pm.
Tickets for that game and all remaining 2022 home dates can be purchased at DurhamBulls.com/tickets.