DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls fell to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees for a third straight night on Thursday, stranding 11 runners in a 6-2 loss. After taking an early 1-0 lead in first inning, Scranton punished Bulls starter Jim Paduch for four runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach.
Despite allowing that run in the first, Paduch (2-4, 4.35) seemed to settle down until he ran into trouble in the fifth. The Yankees batted around in that frame and scored two runs, before loading the bases for Russell Branyan. Branyan, who had already hit three home runs in the series, singled down the right field line to score two more and put the Yankees up 5-0.
Scranton's Nelson Figueroa (4-2, 3.89) made his second start against Durham this season and baffled Bulls batters. He allowed just three hits and struck out five in his six innings of work. The newest member of the Bulls squad, Rich Thompson, had two hits in his Durham debut and collected one of only four allowed by Figueroa.
With Figueroa out of the game, the Bulls began to rack up hits, but could not come up with the big RBI. Durham threatened against Justin Thomas in the seventh, putting runners on the corners with one out, but Juan Miranda struck out and Cole Figueroa grounded out to end the Bulls hopes in the frame.
In relief of Paduch, Dane De La Rosa tossed a perfect seventh, but his consecutive scoreless innings streak came to an end after 13.2 innings. The tall righty gave up an RBI double to Colin Curtis with one out in the top of the 8th to stop the longest scoreless inning streak by a reliever this season.
Leslie Anderson and Matt Mangini recorded RBIs in the eighth to avoid the shutout. The team was threatening to score more with the bags juiced, but Reid Brignac and Miranda struck out in back-to-back at bats to leave the bases full and end the Bulls comeback hopes. Durham was a dismal 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
The Yankees and Bulls finish up their four game set on Friday night at the DBAP. It's battle of North Carolina local prospects as former UNC standout RHP Adam Warren (3-3, 4.33) takes the mound against Clayton native RHP Chris Archer (3-7, 5.09). Game time is set for 7:05 with Friday Night Fireworks following the contest.