Game 131: Bulls 9, Chiefs 6
Games Left in Season: 13; Home Games: 7
Jeremy Hellickson looked really, really good until the 7th. He gave up a bunt single and his first walk, but they were followed by two strikeouts and it looked like he had it in hand (90 pitches or so at the time). Unfortunately, Syracuse’s Seth Bynum hit a home run and the game got really tight (5-3). A slick play by Olmedo on a Justin Maxwell grounder ended the inning (and led to Maxwell getting tossed from the game for arguing with the ump Al Porter, as was the manager, Tim Foley).
We got a run in top of the 8th (6-3) and Jason Childers came on in relief. Syracuse got four straight hits off of Jason, a triple, double, a single, and a single. What a mess! Two runs in, men on first and third, nobody out. Durham 6, Syracuse 5. Dale Thayer comes in. Sac fly ties the game. Two more fly outs. Game tied 6-6 going into the 9th.
Syracuse brought in Zack Segovia. Akinori Iwamura doubled and Dillon sent him to third on a ground out. But now Fernando Perez, who’d been put in the game for Jon Weber as part of his rehab routine, drew a walk. Matt Joyce, who’d hit a grand slam in the 1st inning came up to bat. Perez stole second base, so Joyce was intentionally walked, loading the bases and bringing up DH Shawn Riggans. Riggans had two hits earlier in the night and he continued the streak with a two-run double! Still men on second and third and one out. Sac fly scores a run. Riggans thrown out at third on the play ending Bulls’ half of the inning, but we go into the bottom of the 9th up 9-6.
Winston Abreu came in for Thayer. The first batter he faced was Seth Bynum, the guy who homered off Hellickson to put the game into contention in the 7th. Bynum grounded out, Brignac to Dillon at first. Abreu walked the next batter but a double play ends the game.
Winston does it again! Thayer gets a blown save and a win. How weird is that? Hellickson pitches a terrific game but gets a no-decision. Shawn Riggans gets the winning hit. Michel Hernandez gets his third sac fly RBI in two games. Matt Joyce gets a grand slam. Great game, but tough on the ol’ heart.
We close in a bit on Gwinnett and head off to Norfolk for three games.
Winning this series 3-1 is a really big deal. Things are looking up.