Bulls Get Early Lead, Hold Wings At Arms-Length

The Durham Bulls used a four-run second inning to help beat the Red Wings 7-4 Tuesday night at Frontier Field. Antoan Richardson had three hits, two runs scored, a walk and a stolen base for the Wings. The series continues here Wednesday night; fans can use the coupon in the Tuesday Democrat and Chronicle for a discounted ticket offer.

Kyle Gibson took the hill for the Red Wings on Tuesday night at Frontier Field, where he has been superb this season. Coming into Tuesday's start, Gibson hadn't allowed an earned run in his last two home starts - a span of 15 2/3 innings. Gibson continued the trend in the first inning, retiring the Bulls in order. In the bottom half of the first, recent call-up Richardson singled up the middle to start the game off on the right foot. Ray Olmedo then drew a walk to give Rochester two runners on and no outs, but the Red Wings couldn't cash in on any base runners.

Gibson struggled with his location in the second inning, yielding four hits and one walk which translated to a four-run second inning for the Bulls. The four runs allowed in the second were the first runs that Gibson had given up in his last 16 2/3 innings at home. Rochester couldn't respond in the bottom of the inning, leaving the score at 4-0 in favor of Durham through two innings.

In the top of the third, Gibson returned to familiar form as he shut down the Bulls offense in 1-2-3 fashion. The Red Wings' offense came to life in the third inning as a Chris Herrmann RBI single keyed a two-run response from Rochester, cutting the deficit to 4-2 after three innings.

Despite the response from his offense, Gibson couldn't find his groove in the fourth inning. Consecutive hits from the Bulls eventually forced Gibson out of the game, as he was relieved by Tyler Robertson. The left-hander looked sharp from the start, striking out two batters in the inning and holding the Bulls scoreless.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Red Wings again chipped away at the deficit. After laying down a bunt, Richardson reached second base via a throwing error. An error by Durham second baseman Mike Fontenot then allowed for Olmedo to reach first and Richardson to score from second, cutting the Bulls' lead to just one, 4-3, through five innings.

Robertson allowed a leadoff double in the top of the sixth inning and was then replaced by right-hander Daniel Turpen. Turpen was able to record consecutive outs before allowing an RBI single to Rich Thompson. Thompson then attempted to steal second, but was caught stealing by Herrmann to end the inning. By throwing Thompson out at second, Herrmann and the Red Wings catchers improved to 43% (15-for-35) when it comes to throwing out opposing runners this season, the highest mark in the International League.

All remained quiet between the two sides until the bottom of the seventh inning. Trailing 5-3, the Red Wings were able to load the bases behind singles from Olmedo and Chris Colabello (who extended his hitting streak to six games) as well as a Jeff Clement walk. With one out and the bases loaded, Eric Farris pinch hit for Brian Dinkelman and was looking to improve upon his seven-game hit streak. Unfortunately, Farris struck out in the at-bat for the second out of the inning. Reliever Will Inman then came on for the Bulls, and hit Nate Hanson with a pitch, to force home a run for the Red Wings. Trailing by just one, 5-4, with the bases loaded, Joe Benson struck out looking to end the seventh-inning rally.

Leslie Anderson led off the eighth inning for the Bulls and immediately provided insurance runs for Durham, belting a solo home run to right field to push the Bulls' lead to 6-4. A sacrifice fly from Tim Beckham later in the inning gave the Bulls a 7-4 lead.

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