DURHAM, NC - On a gorgeous Easter Sunday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the Bulls clinched their first series of the year with a 7-4 victory over the Gwinnett Braves. Raleigh area native Chris Archer excelled in his 2012 Bulls debut, striking out eight en route to earning his first win of the season. Archer was backed up by a Bulls offense that put up six runs in the first two innings.
In his first start for Durham since a playoff start in September last season, Archer was effective, earning those eight strike outs on 89 pitches in 6.0 innings. The Bulls added to their league leading strike out totals with 11 K's in the game for a total of 54 on the season. Archer's lone mistake a home run to DH Ernesto Mejia in the top of the second inning. He walked the next batter and then settled down, retiring 11 of the next 13 hitters.
The Bulls offense gave Archer all the support he would need, tallying five runs off of Braves starter Eric Junge in the second. Leslie Anderson and his hot bat kicked off that inning with a single to right field. Anderson and four other Bulls would score thanks to doubles by Will Rhymes and Brandon Guyer. The Bulls would get another insurance run from a solo home run by shortstop Shawn O'Malley. O'Malley crushed his fourth career home run over the Blue Monster, just missing the Snorting Bull sign in left field, on a 1-0 pitch to give the Bulls a 7-1 lead.
The Braves would attempt a comeback by tagging on two runs in the seventh by a home run by from Christian Marrero. Jhonny Nunez came into the game in the ninth inning to shut things down and after striking out Mejia to start the inning, he allowed three straight doubles to bring the game within three. Charlie Montoyo brought in Dane De La Rosa in a save situation with runners on second and third and the tying run at the plate. De La Rosa struck out Boscan and then induced a ground ball to the right side to end the game.
Tomorrow night the Bulls welcome the Charlotte Knights, the top Chicago White Sox affiliate, to town for a three game set. Durham will send RHP Matt Torra to the mound to battle against RHP Terry Doyle. Game time is set for 7:05pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.