The first-place Durham Bulls beat Gwinnett 3-1 at the DBAP on Wednesday night, moving to 9-2 this year against the Braves. Despite only mustering four hits, Durham notched its professional baseball-best 66th win of the season.
The Bulls, who have scored twice as many first-inning runs as their opponents this season, jumped on top early again. Cole Figueroa singled on the second pitch of the game from rehabbing Major Leaguer Brandon Beachy (L, 1-4, 3.00). He advanced to third when second baseman Tyler Pastornicky threw away Brandon Guyer's double-play grounder, and scored on Leslie Anderson's ground ball. The RBI gave Anderson a team-leading 60 on the season, breaking a tie with Vince Belnome.
The Bulls managed just two hits off of Beachy in 6 innings, but they manufactured a second run in the third. Jason Bourgeois walked, advanced to second on his 20th stolen base, and was sacrificed to third by Figueroa. Bourgeois scored on Guyer's single. Guyer stole three bases in the game to tie Rich Thompson for the team lead with 22. It also gave the Bulls three players with 20 steals, the first time since 2010 that a Durham team has done so.
Guyer and Figueroa each had two hits and combined for all of the Bulls hits on the night.
LHP Mike Montgomery (W, 5-4, 4.15) broke a personal three game losing streak, pitching 5.2 shutout innings and allowing three hits.
Ramon Ramirez relieved Montgomery in the sixth with the tying runs on base and struck out two batters to get out of the jam.
Josh Lueke did the same for Ramirez in the eighth, coming on with two runners on and fanning the last two batters to preserve the lead. Lueke shut down the Braves in the ninth to earn his 13th save.
The short two game series concludes Thursday at 7:05pm. RHP Merrill Kelly (4-1, 2.57) starts for the Bulls against RHP Cody Martin (2-1, 2.94) for Gwinnett.