Casali Carries Bulls to Win
DURHAM, N.C. - Catcher Curt Casali put together his best offensive night of the season Wednesday, as the Bulls' backstop went 2-3 with a home run and six RBI to carry Durham to a 9-4 win over the Indianapolis Indians at the DBAP.
Casali was in the middle of all three of the Bulls' offensive rallies on the night, as he walked in the teams' two-run second inning, lined a double in the four-run third, and crushed a homer in the three-run fifth. The big night helped Durham secure the series win over Indianapolis, with the South Division leading Bulls taking two of three games from the West Division leading Indians.
Casali and the Bulls got things going in the bottom of the second, when three straight singles by Willie Adames, Johnny Field, and Patrick Leonard drove in the first run of the night. Following a walk by Casali to load the bases, Jake Hager drove in the inning's second tally on a fielder's choice groundout to put Durham ahead 2-0.
The Indians got on the board with an RBI groundout by Chris Bostick in the top of the third, cutting the score to 2-1. The Bulls' bats responded in the bottom of the frame however, plating four runs on three hits and two walks to bolster their advantage to 6-1. The rally began with a one-out single by rehabbing major leaguer Rickie Weeks, which was followed by a double off the center field wall from Jake Bauers and a walk to Adames to load the bases. Leonard then drove in the inning's first run with an RBI walk, before Casali delivered the big blast with a three-RBI double to right.
Durham pulled even further ahead with yet another big hit by Casali in the fifth, this time with the 28-year-old lining an opposite field, three-run home run to right to make the score 9-1. Indianapolis cut their deficit to 9-4 with a three-run homer off the bat of Danny Oritz in the sixth, but the road team would pull no further as relievers Ryan Garton and Jose Alvarado combined to throw three scoreless innings to end the game.
Joining Casali with a big night at the plate was Adames who finished 2-2 with three runs scored and a pair of walks, while Bauers went 2-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.
Starting pitcher Yonny Chirinos (10-3) moved into a tie for the International League lead in wins after going six innings and allowing four runs, one earned, on six hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts. Indy starter Nick Kingham (3-6) took the loss after giving up eight runs on seven hits, four walks, and five strikeouts over five innings pitched.
The Bulls (59-37) remain at home over the weekend for a four-game series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, with RHP Austin Pruitt (0-0, 2.29) taking on RHP Jake Thompson (3-11, 5.59) Thursday night at 7:05 pm.
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