Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bye Bisons

Game 120, Monday, August 15, Coca-Cola Field
Durham Bulls 2, Buffalo Bison 1 (7 Innings)

Game 121, Monday, August 15
Durham Bulls 8, Buffalo Bison 3 (8 Innings)
Season: 69-52; This Trip: 2-2
Wrap, Box, Buffalo News, Wild Card

To be honest, given the track record of the last two games, I was really worried about the bottom of the 7th in the first game yesterday (7-inning game). The Bulls had gone ahead 2-1 on a triple by young Mr. Beckham that drove in Ray Olmedo. I was putting gas in my car and had rolled down the rear window so I could hear the game. Andy Sonnanstine had gotten the first out but then gave up a single. Rob Delaney came in. A popup for the second out. Runner on first stole second. Gas pump dings. Batter grounds out to Johnson at first. Game over. Breath easier. Put nozzle back on the pump. Go on home.

At home with MiLB TV fired up for the second game, I begin to wonder if some bad karma could be out there. Former Bull Fernando Perez hit his very first home run (!) as a Bison and put Buffalo ahead 3-1. The Bulls got one back in the 4th, but then another former Bull, reliever Dale Thayer, came in for the 6th and weaseled out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation.

The planets come back into a proper alignment in the 7th, however, when Mr. Beckham hit a double, got to third on a Brandon Guyer sacrifice, and came home to tie the game on a Stephen Vogt sacrifice fly.

Mike Ekstrom kept things under control in the bottom of the 7th and Russ Canzler led off the 8th with a game winning home run, the first home run for a Bull since August 10 (Canzler and Ashley).

The icing on the cake was Tim Beckham's grand slam three batters later. Beckham hit for the cycle over the two games and accounted for five of the ten runs scored by the Bulls, not bad. See the Buffalo News link above for some comments by Beckham and Charlie Montoyo about his stellar night.

Dane De La Rosa came in to close things out and the Bulls were off to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Expect intense press coverage of the Bulls-Yankees games the next couple of nights. But not likely to have anything to do with Tim Beckham or Justin Ruggiano's bursitis of the knee.

Alex Rodriguez is scheduled for a rehab start with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and the eyes of Yankee faithful will be watching what he does. A challenge for Bulls starter Matt Torra.

The sweep of the double header puts the Bulls three games ahead of Gwinnett. With recent losses, Norfolk and Rochester have been officially eliminated from contention.

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