DURHAM, N.C. – Four second-inning runs were enough for the Durham Bulls (58-37) on Tuesday night.
Seven batters came to the plate in the fateful frame, as Durham knocked off the Indianapolis Indians (53-42) by a final score of 5-1 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
After a scoreless first, the Bulls got after Tribe starting pitcher Drew Hutchison.
Taylor Featherston got it started with a leadoff single and the rest was history. Back-to-back fielder’s choice grounders, with a wild pitch in the middle, resulted in Durham’s first run. A two-run triple from Jake Hager made it 3-0 and a run-scoring groundout by Johnny Field completing the scoring in the inning and pushed Indy’s deficit to four runs.
Durham got another run in the sixth, Hutchison’s final inning of work. With runners on the corners after consecutive hits, Mike Marjama made the score 5-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Hutchison finished up with a final line of five runs allowed on six hits and no walks. The right-hander has now given up five or more runs in two of his past three outings. Prior to that, Hutchison had not surrendered more than five runs in a start since May 24 at Lehigh Valley.
On the mound for Durham on Tuesday was Brent Honeywell. The Tampa Bay Rays‘ number two prospect was on top of his game, blanking the Tribe on three hits over the course of five innings pitched. Honeywell earned his ninth win of the year for his efforts, which is good for a tie for second place among all International League hurlers.
Three relievers then combined to close it out for the Bulls in relief of Honeywell.
Chih-Wei Hu was first to enter the game, firing a shutout sixth inning before the wheels came off in the seventh. Hu walked four Indianapolis hitters in that seventh inning, allowing the Tribe’s lone run to cross on a free pass.
Diego Castillo replaced Hu and ended the seventh before retiring the Indians in order in the eighth. Finally in the ninth, Ryne Stanek put a stamp on Durham’s 5-1 victory with a perfect frame of his own.
The rubber game of this three-game set is scheduled to get underway from the DBAP at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday. Nick Kingham (3-5, 4.23 ERA) looks to guide the Tribe to a series win.