DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls matched their season high with four home runs as they crushed the Columbus Clippers 12-2 in Thursday's homestand finale. Chris Gimenez smashed two dingers and collected a Bulls season-high five RBI in the rout.
Gimenez set the pace for Durham by smashing the first of his two home runs, this one a 2-run bomb, in the bottom of the first inning. The Clippers returned serve and knotted the game at two a piece with back-to-back home runs from Matt LaPorta and former Bull Russ Canzler in the fourth. That would be all for Columbus offense though, as it was all Durham for the rest of the game.
After the Bulls regained the lead with a solo homer from Brooks Conrad in the bottom of fourth, Durham opened the flood gates, scoring six in the fifth. With two on and one out in the frame, Tim Beckham snuck a single between third base and shortstop to left field. Canzler watched the ball go through his legs allowing two to score on the play. Two batters later, Gimenez launched a three run bomb above the Goodmon Field sign in center field. Henry Wrigley knocked David Huff (L, 5-6, 5.52) out of the game after he added the fourth Bulls home run of the night, going back-to-back with Gimenez.
Overshadowed by the Bulls bats, Matt Torra (W, 10-6, 4.16) was excellent on the night. He threw his second straight quality start, allowing just two earned runs over seven innings, scattering seven hits. After allowing the solo homers from LaPorta and Canzler in the fourth, Torra cruised to his team-leading 10th win of the season. Josh Lueke relieved Torra and added two scoreless frames to extend his scoreless streak to 16.0 IP.
The Bulls were not done scoring for the day. They carried their rally into the sixth where Nevin Ashley led off with a triple. With two on Beckham smacked a single and collected his second RBI of the game. Rich Thompson joined in on the action and smoked a bases clearing triple to extend the blow out to 12-2. In total, every Bulls starter recorded a hit in the blowout and only Will Rhymes failed to score a run.
Durham hits the road for a four game set against the Toledo Mud Hens beginning Friday. LHP Cesar Ramos (4-3, 2.61) makes his fourth start for the Bulls against RHP Brooks Brown (3-3, 5.07). Game time is set for 7:00pm and can be heard on 620 The Buzz, 99.9 HD-3 The Ticket, or durhambulls.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.