Durham, N.C. - The Louisville Bats were defeated by the Durham Bulls in game one of the best-of-five series 8-4. A trio of Louisville home runs was not enough to squander a pair of big innings by Durham. The Bats' defense allowed the Bulls to stay on the bases all night, as they were charged with four errors. 1,809 fans gathered to witness the first round of the International League playoffs at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Joe Bateman (1-0, 0.00) picked up the victory for the Bulls. He allowed one base runner, courtesy of a walk, in 1.1 innings of work.
Two of the Bats newer players started the playoffs in the right form, resulting in a two-run second inning. Todd Frazier led things off with a walk, before being driven in on Juan Francisco's long ball off of Hellickson. The shot to straightaway center field put Louisville in front of the Durham 2-0.
Chris Denove added a solo home run in the top of the fourth. The second round-tripper of the game for the Bats pushed their lead to 3-0.
The momentum appeared to be completely in Louisville's favor, heading into the bottom-half of the fifth inning. Travis Wood (0-0, 3.60) was cruising, with a trio of runs to support him. Then, before the Bats could blink, the game turned.
Ray Olmedo led off the inning with a grounder back to Wood. Wood threw errantly to first base, allowing Olmedo to advance 90 more feet to second base. The play was ruled a single, with Olmedo moving to second on an error by Wood. After Desmond Jennings singled, advancing Olmedo to third, Wood committed his second error of the inning. Joe Dillon reached on Wood's error, which allowed Olmedo to scamper home for the Bulls' first run. Two more singles from Matt Joyce and Sean Rodriguez scored two more runs for Durham, tying the game at 3-3.
Wood threw five innings for the West Division Champions. He allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on a six-pack of hits. Wood also struck out a handful of batters.
After a rough fifth inning, Bats' manager Rick Sweet turned to Federico Baez to keep the Bulls off of the bases. It didn't work. Olmedo got the rally started with a triple to right field. With two outs, Rashad Eldridge singled to score Olmedo and give the Bulls a 4-3 advantage. Four hits and four runs later, Durham had the game on cruise control, 8-3.
Baez (0-1, 67.50) took the loss for the Bats. He pitched 0.2 of an inning, surrendering five runs on five hits.
Olmedo led the way for Durham, finishing 3-for-4 for the game.
Francisco tacked on his second homer of the night in the eighth off of Bulls' reliever Julio DePaula, giving the game its' final tally of 8-4.
Cincinnati Reds top-prospect Yonder Alonso was 0-for-4 in his Triple-A debut for the Bats.
Tomorrow evening, the Bats will look to even the series and take game two of this best-of-five series against the Bulls. Probable starters for the match-up are LHP Ben Jukich (9-6, 4.10) for Louisville and RHP Mitch Talbot (4-4, 4.47) for Durham. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.