DURHAM, NC - After the Durham Bulls honored former manager and 2016 IL Hall of Fame inductee Charlie Montoyo before the game, the team fell to the Rochester Red Wings 6-3 Thursday night in the opener of a four-game set.
Prior to first pitch, the Bulls held an IL Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Montoyo, while surprising him by retiring his No. 25 uniform. The all-time winningest manager in Bulls history was joined by representatives from the Bulls, Tampa Bay Rays and International League, as he became the fifth person in franchise history to have his number retired.
Once the game got underway after a rain delay, the Red Wings (23-18) plated a pair of runs in the first inning, as Max Kepler tripled home James Beresford, before Kennys Vargas singled home Kepler. In the second frame Adam Brett Walker cracked a solo homer to make it a 3-0 game, before Kepler homered in the fifth to extend the difference to four runs.
In the seventh the duo struck again, as Brett Walker drilled another homer and Kepler doubled home Beresford as the visitors stretched their lead to 6-0.
After they were shut out for the first seven innings, the Bulls' (17-25) bats came to life in the eighth. With two outs Dayron Varona cracked a two-run double, and Nick Franklin followed with an RBI single that made it a 6-3 contest. That was as close as the Bulls would come however, dropping their second straight contest.
Jason Wheeler (2-1) earned the win for the Red Wings, turning in 6 2/3 scoreless innings and allowing just four hits while striking out six. Justin Marks (1-4) took the loss for the home side, allowing four runs on seven hits across 5 2/3 frames. J.T. Chargois picked up his first save of the season by notching the final four outs for Rochester.
Franklin and Daniel Robertson each tallied two hits for Durham in the loss, while Mikie Mahtook singled, walked and scored.
The series continues Friday at 7:05 p.m. at the DBAP, when Durham sends LHP Blake Snell (1-3, 3.86) to the hill opposite LHP Logan Darnell (4-3, 4.17) for Rochester.
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