COLUMBUS, OH - The Durham Bulls were held to just five hits in a 2-0 loss to the Columbus Clippers Wednesday afternoon at Huntington Park, dropping their fifth straight game.
Ryan Merritt (10-7) tossed six innings for the home side, allowing just two hits, striking out two and walking one. Three relievers each tossed an inning for the Clippers (72-54) to preserve the shutout, with Austin Adams earning his seventh save of the year.
Trailing by a pair of runs in the ninth, Casey Gillaspie singled with two outs, before JP Arencibia followed with a bloop single to put runners on the corners for the Bulls (54-71). Eury Perez pinch-ran for Arencibia and promptly advanced to second base on a defensive indifference, but Richie Shaffer struck out looking to end the contest.
The game's only runs came in the bottom of the third inning, when Yhoxian Medina was hit by a pitch with two outs, and Erik Gonzalez followed with a two-run homer over the rightfield wall.
Jake Faria (3-4) pitched well in the loss for Durham, surrendering two runs on three hits across seven innings. The right-hander struck out eight and did not walk a batter, marking the fifth straight start he allowed three earned runs or fewer. Arencibia was the lone Bull to tally a multi-hit effort by going 2-for-4, as the team was shut out for a league-high 17th time.
The Bulls return to Durham on Thursday for the first game of a three-game set against the Norfolk Tides. LHP Justin Marks (6-10, 3.62) takes the mound for Durham against RHP Joe Gunkel (7-9, 3.58) for Norfolk. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.