DURHAM, NC - After more than an hour and a half worth of rain delays, the Durham Bulls downed the Columbus Clippers 4-1 in a weather shortened series opener Monday night at the DBAP. The umpires called the game 38 minutes into a third rain delay with the Bulls leading after seven complete innings.
Lance Pendleton (W, 7-4, 4.53) turned in six strong innings on the way to his seventh victory of the season. He allowed three hits, walked two and was one strikeout away from matching his season-high with seven. Pendleton's lone mistake was a solo home run off the bat of Cord Phelps in the first inning. The Bulls bats quickly evened the score with the Clippers, plating a run in the bottom of the second inning.
With the rain starting to fall in the bottom of the fourth inning, Chris Gimenez lined a leadoff single to right field. As the precipitation intensified, Brooks Conrad crushed his first home run as a Bull off of Matt Packer (L, 0-1, 6.35). The two run shot over the Blue Monster ended a nine game Durham homerless drought that spanned 344 at bats. Two pitches later the rain forced the game to a halt for the second time.
Play picked back up after a 25 minute delay, but did nothing to silence the Bulls bats. Tim Beckham led off the fifth with an infield single and came all the way home to score thanks to Henry Wrigley's team leading 21st double of the season. Both Beckham and Conrad finished the night with two hits apiece.
Adam Liberatore relieved Pendleton in the top of the seventh. He got two quick fly outs to Anderson in right field before he ran into trouble. The Clippers loaded the bases, but the left-handed reliever induced an inning ending ground ball, earning his first Triple-A career save.
The Bulls and Clippers continue their four game set Tuesday night at 7:05pm. LHP Eric Berger (2-0, 5.16) heads the hill for the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians against Durham's RHP Chris Archer (6-8, 4.15).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.