Bulls Ride Long Ball to Game 1 Victory
DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls kicked off their attempt at a Governors' Cup three-peat with a 9-3 victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in Game 1 of the First Round of the Governors' Cup playoffs Wednesday night at the DBAP. Jose De Leon (1-0) recorded the win for the Bulls, while Brian Keller (0-1) suffered the loss for the RailRiders.
Mike Brosseau kicked off the postseason with a bang, ripping an RBI double to center field in the first inning to make it 1-0 Durham after an inning. The Bulls held the RailRiders in check until the fourth inning, when Erik Kratz launched a solo home run to right field to tie the game at one.
Kevin Padlo put the Bulls back in front in the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run to make it 2-1. From there, the Bulls were able to gain some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, beginning with back-to-back walks by Brosseau and Dylan Cozens. Jason Coats stepped to the plate against new RailRiders pitchers Kaleb Ort and drove a three-run home run to right field to make it 5-1.
Scranton was able to respond late with their second solo home run of the game, this time from Gosuke Katoh to cut the lead to 5-2 in the eighth. However, the Bulls were able to hang on, thanks to additional runs on an RBI sacrifice bunt by Nathan Lukes, a bases-loaded walk by Padlo and a two-run single from Jake Cronenworth to increase the lead to 9-2.
Mandy Alvarez added a run on an RBI groundout to make it 9-3 in the ninth, but Arturo Reyes locked down the Game 1 victory by getting Breyvic Valera to fly out in the top of the ninth.
The Bulls and RailRiders will get together for Game 2 in the Best-Of-5 series on Friday night at 6:05 at the DBAP. Left-hander Josh Fleming will make the start for the Bulls and face off against RailRiders right-hander Brody Koerner.
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