DURHAM, NC - Pitching prevailed as the Durham Bulls shutout the Gwinnett Braves 1-0 in Thursday night's homestand opener at the DBAP. Chris Archer was fantastic in the win, allowing only three hits in his six innings of work. Durham has now shutout back-to-back opponents for the first time since April 2008. Rehabbing Rays star Evan Longoria was 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts on the evening.
Archer (W, 6-8, 4.15) was brilliant in this home start, quickly working through the Gwinnett lineup. The Clayton, NC native did not walk a batter for the second time this season, and only tossed 77 pitches (45 for strikes) in the shutout effort.
The Bulls squeaked a run off of Braves starter Yohan Flande, who was also effective in his six innings of work. He allowed just five base hits, walked four and had seven punch outs, one away from his season-high. Flande gave up run the game's only run in the fifth inning when Nevin Ashley led off with a walk. The Bulls catcher moved to third after Gwinnett centerfielder Jose Constanza bobbled a Rich Thompson single. Flande induced a double play off of the bat of the newest Bull Brooks Conrad, but Ashley came home to give the Bulls the 1-0 edge.
Durham was poised to score more. The team left the bases full of Bulls in the bottom of the seventh inning. Conrad walked for the second time in the game to load the bases for Longoria. The 2008 AL Rookie of the Year worked a full count, but watched strike three pass him by. Overall on the night, Durham left 11 men on base.
Brandon Gomes followed Archer and added two perfect innings, striking out two in the process. The right handed hurler made his fourth straight appearance without giving up a run. He paved the way for All-Star Closer Dane De La Rosa to earn his 13th save of the season.
The Braves and Bulls are back it Friday night at 7:05pm. RHP Alex Colome (0-0, 0.00), the fifth ranked prospect in the Rays organization entering the 2012 season, will make his Triple-A debut for Durham against veteran RHP Miguel Batista (1-0, 3.60). Following the game, the Bulls will light the Durham sky with Friday Night Fireworks.