Toledo, OH --- A big fifth inning in the opener, then a two-run triple in the sixth of the nightcap doomed the Durham Bulls in a doubleheader defeat at Toledo on Saturday night.
The Bulls (57-65) resumed their rain-suspended game from Friday night in the fourth inning tied 1-1, but a bases loaded walk restarted the contest to give Toledo (48-74) a 2-1 lead. In the fifth, Brandon Gomes allowed five two-out runs, culminated by a two-run homer by Jared Head against the left field foul pole to boost the Mud Hens lead to 7-1. Only a Cole Figueroa single in the ninth inning closed the gap for the Bulls.
In the nightcap, the Bulls established a 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a two-run blast to right by ex-Mud Hen infielder Will Rhymes against Drew Smyly. The next hitter - Nevin Ashley - was hit on the leg, and Smyly and manager Phil Nevin were ejected.
Lance Pendleton worked five innings on four hits, but surrendered the lead in the fourth on an RBI-double by Danny Worth, then a wild pitch.
In the sixth, Adam Liberatore, who had not allowed a run in Triple-A, allowed a pair of singles ahead of a two-run triple to Ben Guez to crack the tie, handing the Mud Hens a 4-2 lead.
When the Bulls came up for their final at-bat, Will Rhymes led off against Bruce Rondon, who had 28 saves this season across three different levels. Rondon's first pitch whistled behind Rhymes' body, and with Rhymes and Rondon approaching each other, both benches cleared. When order was restored, Rondon became the third Mud Hen ejected in the game. The Bulls didn't threaten against Collin Balester as the Mud Hens completed the sweep.
The series continues Sunday at 6:00 PM ET with Chris Archer taking the hill for the Bulls.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.