Game Notes: Durham Bulls (8-10) at Louisville Bats (8-12)
Game 21, Home 11
Durham Bulls (8-10) at Louisville Bats (8-12)
7:00 PM | Thursday, April 25, 2019 | Louisville Slugger Field
LISTEN: Nick Curran & Jim Kelch, 790 KRD; iHeartRadio.com; iHeart app
THURSDAY'S FINALE: The Louisville Bats and Durham Bulls will finish up a three-game series on Thursday night at Louisville Slugger Field, with the Bats looking to avoid their first sweep of 2019. On Wednesday night, the Bulls won a rain-shortened game that was called after just 5 innings, winning by a 4-2 score. Tonight, right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (1-0, 3.60) will look to build on his last start, a victory in which he threw 6.0 innings at Indianapolis, as the Bats look to snap their three-game losing streak.
AGAINST DURHAM: Louisville and Durham will meet 6 times this season, for this series at Louisville Slugger Field and a 3-game set at Durham Bulls Athletic Park from May 28-30. Last season, Louisville went 3-7 against the Bulls, 3-4 in 7 home games and 0-3 on the road, being swept from May 15-17 at Durham.
- The Bats will need to win Thursday night to avoid being swept by the Bulls at Louisville Slugger Field for the first time since July 2007, when Louisville lost 3 straight from July 16-18 before the fourth game of the series was postponed due to rain. With Durham not returning to Louisville Slugger Field this season, if the Bats lose tonight it will be the first time since 1998 (0-6) that LOU failed to win a home game against Durham for a season.
STRIKING FIRST: The Bats scored first last night, with Nick Senzel hitting a ground-rule double to get Louisville started, scoring on a Christian Colon RBI. In 10 home games this season, the Bats have scored first just twice, going 0-2 in those contests. One season removed from owning the worst winning percentage in the IL when scoring first, Louisville has started off 2019 by owning a 4-6 record in the 10 games they have scored first, with 8 of their 12 losses being in games where they led at one point.
APRIL SHOWERS: Louisville and Durham played just 5 innings in last night's 4-2 Bulls win, before the game was called due to rain. It is the second rain-shortened game in the Bats' last 3 home games, and was already the fourth rain delay at Louisville Slugger Field this season. By comparison, there were a total of 7 rain delays in Bats home games during the entirety of the 2018 season.
COMPLETE GAME: Right-hander Jose Lopez, along with Durham's starter Aaron Slegers, were both credited with complete games on Wednesday, with Lopez's CG being the first for a Bats pitcher this season. It was the first complete game for a Bats pitcher since Robert Stephenson threw a 7.0-inning CG on July 24 last season in game one of a doubleheader vs. Buffalo.
- Lopez's complete game was the first 5.0-inning CG for a Bats pitcher since LHP Aroldis Chapman went 5.0 IP, giving up one earned run on 4 hits, with 2 walks and 9 strikeouts on June 12, 2010 at Pawtucket, getting the loss in a 1-0 rain-shortened game.
THROUGH 20 GAMES: The Bats own an 8-12 record after 20 games this season, one game worse than 2018 when they were 9-11. In 2018, Louisville had made 34 roster transactions after 20 games, making less than half (16) that number so far in 2019. Last season, the Bats had 18 of their 25 players from Opening Day still on the roster after 20 games, and this season they boast 21 from Opening Day.
WELCOME BACK, BRIAN: First baseman Brian O'Grady returned to the Louisville lineup on Wednesday, going 0-for-2. It was his first game since April 13, spending time on the injured list with lower back spasms. O'Grady is batting .314 (11-for-35) for Louisville this season, with 6 runs, 2 doubles, 3 homers, 8 RBI, 9 walks and a .435 on-base percentage.
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