Bulls Finish Sweep of Charlotte with Win
DURHAM, N.C. - The Durham Bulls finished off a three-game sweep of the in-state rival Charlotte Knights on Thursday with a victory very similar to the previous two nights, as the Bulls used another standout pitching performance and a big home run to come away with a 4-1 win at the DBAP.
Much like the first two games of the series the Bulls' pitching staff held the Knights in check for most of the night, as Brent Honeywell, Diego Castillo, Chih-Wei Hu, Andrew Kittredge, and Ryan Garton combined to allow one run on eight hits and 13 strikeouts. The quintet's performance finished off of dominant series for the Durham staff, as they allowed just two runs on 13 hits over 27 total innings.
The Bulls actually fell behind for the first time in the series thanks to a first inning, solo home run by Cody Asche that put the Knights up 1-0. That score held until the bottom of the second, when Durham catcher Curt Casali crushed a two-run homer that soared over the Blue Monster in left field for a 2-1 Bulls lead.
Durham picked up an insurance run two innings later in the fourth, as Casali was able to score from third on an RBI bunt single by Kean Wong to make the score 3-1. Wong also drove in the home team's final run of the evening in the eighth, with an RBI base knock for a 4-1 Durham lead. That lead would prove to be enough for the Bulls, as Charlotte got just two batters as far as second base after the first inning resulting in the 4-1 final score.
Honeywell (11-7) earned the win for the Bulls and moved into a three-way tie with teammates Yonny Chirinos and Ryan Yarbrough for the second most victories in the International League. The right-hander finished the night with one run allowed on six hits and eight strikeouts over five innings pitched, while Garton (4) earned the save after tossing a scoreless ninth. Charlotte starter Tyler Danish (3-11) took the loss after allowing three runs on 10 hits, two walks, and five strikeouts over five innings pitched.
Casali finished 2-4 with a homer and two RBI to lead the Durham lineup, while Wong went 3-5 with three RBI. Justin O'Conner also had a solid game in his Triple-A debut, as the catcher concluded the night 3-4 with a double and a run scored.
The Bulls (69-41) have won four straight and sit a season-high 28 games over .500. The club will now head to Norfolk for a three-game weekend series against the Tides, with RHP Yonny Chirinos (11-3, 2.89) taking on RHP Alec Asher (2-1, 2.84) at 7:05 pm Friday night.
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