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Bulls Sink Stripers with 11-0 Shutout Victory

September 20, 2023 - International League (IL)
Durham Bulls News Release


LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - Bulls designated hitter Francisco Mejia mashed four hits and drove in two runs and shortstop Tristan Gray smashed his team-leading twenty-ninth home run, while starting pitcher Anthony Molina tossed six scoreless innings of three-hit ball in Durham's 11-0 shutout win over the Gwinnett Stripers on Wednesday afternoon at Coolray Field.

Durham's victory lowered the club's magic number to three to clinch the International League's Second Half title, with second-place Lehigh Valley set to face Worcester later Wednesday evening. The Norfolk Tides, who won the league's First Half, will host the Second Half winner in a best-of-three playoff series from September 26-28 to determine the International League Champion.

Molina (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO) took a no-hitter into the fourth inning and earned the victory with his six scoreless frames. Bulls relievers Chris Devenski (1.0 IP, 2 H), Trevor Kelley (1.0 IP, 1 SO) and Josh Fleming (1.0 IP) combined for the final three innings to complete the shutout. Gwinnett starting pitcher Alan Rangel (4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB) suffered the defeat.

Gray's 440-foot blast to right started the Bulls' four-run scoring spurt in the second frame. CF Kameron Misner would then mash an RBI double to right, later coming across on a fielder's choice, before Mejia capped the big inning with a run-scoring triple to the right field wall to push Durham ahead 4-0.

The Bulls would extend that advantage to five courtesy of 3B Austin Shenton's RBI single in the seventh, while Gray's sacrifice fly later in the frame made it 6-0. Durham would then score four more tallies in the eighth highlighted by Mejia's fourth hit of the day, an RBI single to center, to expand the margin to double digits. One inning later, RF Vidal Brujan's run-scoring knock to center capped the Bulls' scoring at 11-0.

Mejia (4-6, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI) was joined by Brujan (2-6, 2 R, 2 RBI) and C Logan Driscoll (2-4, 2 R, 1 BB) in posting multi-hit efforts, with Mejia tallying at least one knock in 14 of his 18 contests with the Bulls this season. Gray's big fly was his 29th with Durham this year, which paces the club and ranks fifth in the International League.

The two teams are set to continue their series on Thursday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm. LHP Jacob Lopez is expected to get the nod for the Bulls with Stripers RHP Darius Vines anticipated to toe the rubber for the Stripers.

The Bulls begin the 2024 campaign on the road before beginning their home slate at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Tuesday April 3 against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins. For more information on the 2024 season, please visit DurhamBulls.com.


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