Ford's Big Flies Blast Bulls Past 'shrimp 9-5
DURHAM, N.C. - Bulls first baseman Mike Ford smashed two home runs and drove in four runs, with Durham right fielder Josh Lowe and catcher Rene Pinto each going deep as well, while Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Chris Archer struck out two batters as part of his Major League Rehab Assignment in a 9-5 victory over the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Saturday evening at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Ford (2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB) has now crushed nine roundtrippers in 20 games with the Bulls since joining Durham on June 19, with five of those nine longballs coming against the Jumbo Shrimp. His multi-hit effort also extended his hit streak to 11 games with the Bulls, with Lowe (2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Pinto (2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI) and CF Nathan Lukes (2-4, 2 R) joining Ford in posting two knocks.
After Jacksonville grabbed the early 2-0 advantage in the first, 2B Kevin Padlo would cut the lead in half in the bottom of the frame. The Jumbo Shrimp then extended the margin to 4-1 with a pair of tallies in the top of the fifth, though Pinto's blast narrowed the advantage to 4-2. Jacksonville would add a single score in the top of the sixth before Lowe's two-run shot cut the deficit to one prior to Ford's game-tying blast capping the three-run inning. Ford two innings later would crush his second big fly of the contest to push Durham ahead for their first and only lead before Pinto added an insurance run with an RBI double.
Archer (1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) did not factor in the final decisions after throwing 39 pitches, including 26 strikes, in his first outing in a Bulls uniform since 2013. Durham reliever Chris Mazza (1.0 IP, 2 K) earned the victory after firing a scoreless frame, while Jacksonville righty Zack Leban (1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, K) suffered the defeat.
The two sides are expected to conclude their six-game series on Sunday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 5:05pm ET. RHP Joe Ryan (4-3, 3.57) is anticipated to toe the rubber for the Bulls, while RHP Edward Cabrera (NR) is expected to make his Triple-A debut with the Jumbo Shrimp. Tickets for that game and all remaining contests are available and can be purchased at DurhamBulls.com.
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