DURHAM, NC - Will Rhymes and Stephen Vogt each homered in the first inning as the Durham Bulls beat the Rochester Red Wings 7-4 in Friday's series opener. After a 42 minute mid-game rain delay, the Bulls tacked on three runs late to ensure the victory.
In his first Triple-A start since April 30th, Rhymes made his presence known, clobbering the second pitch of the bottom of the first over the right field wall. Henry Wrigley, who leads the league in hitting in July with a .422 average, followed with a double. Vogt then connected for his 8th home run of the year to bring home Wrigley, giving the Bulls an early 3-0 edge.
Lance Pendleton (W, 5-4, 4.10) was solid against the visiting Red Wings. He struck out seven batters, one short of his season-high, and allowed just one earned run in his five innings of work. His lone mistake came in the second inning, when he gave up a leadoff homer to Clete Thomas.
After giving up three runs in the first inning, Rochester's Esmerling Vasquez (L, 3-5, 3.70) settled down and at one time retired 11 straight Bulls. But, Durham tagged him for another run in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to singles from Tim Beckham and Rhymes.
Brandon Gomes entered in the sixth and threw three pitches before the umpires called for the tarp suspending the game. After a 42 minute rain delay the game resumed and Gomes continued on to toss two scoreless frames.
Durham piled it on in, scoring two more the bottom of the seventh. Leslie Anderson singled to leadoff and was moved to third when Brandon Allen smoked a double off the right field wall, breaking his 0-for-19 slump. Reid Brignac knocked them both home with a double down the left field line to make it a 6-1 game.
After the Red Wings pushed two runs across in the eight, Dane De La Rosa entered in the ninth to nail down the win but allowed the Wings to score quickly. With two on and two out, Rene Rivera stepped to the plate representing the tying run. The Rochester catcher belted a shot to the base of the Blue Monster where it was caught at the track by Sam Fuld, ending the game. The series opening win is the fourth Bulls victory in five games against the Red Wings this season.
Rochester and Durham are back it tomorrow night at 7:05pm at the DBAP. LHP Luke French (1-5,6.61) will take the hill for the Red Wings against RHP Chris Archer (5-8, 4.68).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.