DURHAM, NC - The Gwinnett Stripers (2-2) rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to beat the Durham Bulls (2-3) by a 5-4 score Tuesday afternoon at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Twenty-year-old lefty Kolby Allard made his first Triple-A start for Gwinnett and, after a rocky first inning, settled down and pitched well.
In the bottom of the first, after retiring the first two batters, Allard gave up a single to shortstop Christian Arroyo and walked first baseman Joe McCarthy. Former Gwinnett player, third baseman Brandon Snyder, then drilled a three-run homer to left for a 3-0 Bulls lead.
In the bottom of the second, the Bulls pushed the lead to 4-0 as Jake Bauers led off with a double to left, moved to third on a passed ball by Gwinnett catcher Chris Stewart and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by catcher Curt Casali.
However, Allard would not allow another run, and he went on to retire the final five batters he faced.
The Stripers comeback began in the top of the fourth as right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. led off with his first hit of the season, a line-drive double to left off Durham starter Chih-Wei Hu. Shortstop Johan Camargo , playing in his second rehab game for Gwinnett from Atlanta, pushed Acuna to third with a groundout to second. Acuna later scored the first run for the Stripers on a sac fly to left by first baseman Carlos Franco .
In the top of the fifth, Rio Ruiz was walked by Hu to begin the inning and then scored all the way from first on a double to left by second baseman Tyler Smith , cutting the lead to 4-2.
Camargo (1) cut further into the lead at 4-3 in the top of the sixth when he pounded Hu's third pitch into the right field seats just inside the foul pole.
In the top of the eighth, against Durham reliever Jamie Schultz, Gwinnett finally broke through. Franco reached on a one out error by Arroyo. Two batters later, with two outs, Ruiz delivered the eventual game winner, a long two-run homer (1) to right for a 5-4 lead.
Durham loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but Gwinnett reliever Rex Brothers (S, 1) struck out Jason Coats to end the game.
Allard pitched 4.0 innings allowing four hits, four runs (three earned), one walk and three strikeouts. Miguel Socolovich (W, 1-1) was superb out of the bullpen with 3.0 scoreless innings, two hits and three strikeouts. Jesse Biddle (H, 1) went 1.2 innings with two hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Brothers got the final out after allowing two walks.
For the Bulls, Hu tossed 5.0 inning with five hit, three earned runs, two walks and six strikeouts. Adam Kolarek (H, 1) pitched 1.0 with one hit and two strikeouts. Ian Gibaut (H, 1) went 1.0 inning with one hit. Schultz (BS, 1; L, 0-1) pitched 1.0 inning with one hit, two unearned runs, one walk and one strikeouts. Diego Castillo finished the game for Durham with a scoreless top of the ninth with one hit and one walk.
At the plate, Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a homer, a single and two RBIs. Acuna went 2-for-4 with a double and a single. Camargo was 1-for-5 with a solo homer.
For Durham, Arroyo was 3-for-4 with a run and a double and Snyder went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer.
The Stripers' season opening road trip concludes Wednesday night at DBAP. Right-hander Aaron Blair (NR) starts for Gwinnett, while Durham will counter with left-hander Anthony Banda (1-0, 0.00). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM The Other Side of the River beginning at 6:35 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.