Bulls Fight to Stay Alive in Playoff Race

By on August 30, 2016

Durham BullsEight home games is all that remains for the Durham Bulls in the 2016 season.

After going 2-3 on their most recent road trip, the Bulls return home for a 6 game homestand that will feature two first place teams, the IL South leading Gwinnett Braves and IL West leading Columbus Clippers.

The Bulls began the month of August in first place, but have since gone 7-19 to fall into 4th place in the IL South. Gwinnett enters the penultimate series with a 3.5 game lead over the Bulls and 0.5 game lead over 2nd place Charlotte Knights.

In the first game of the 3 game series with the Braves, the Bulls allowed the Braves to score 11 runs en route to an opening game 11-1 loss. The Bulls allowed 6 runs during the first two innings as Mel Rojas Jr. opened the game with a two-run homer. Richie Shaffer scored the lone run for the Bulls in the 8th inning.

The Bulls responded in the second game of the 3 game series defeating the Braves 5-3. Jake Hager led the way for the Bulls with three hits, including an RBI double. Rays pitcher Alex Cobb, on a rehab assignment, pitched 4 innings giving up 1 run on 58 pitches. The Bulls also got a strong relief outing from Eddie Gamboa, who allowed two runs on four hits while working the final five innings.

The Bulls bats stayed hot as they took the final game of the regular season series defeating the Braves 10-6. The Bulls got on the board early as Richie Shaffer singled in Casey Gillaspie in the bottom of the first. The Braves would then answer with a 3-run homer in the top of the third by Ronnie Mustelier. The lead would not last long as the Bulls answered in the bottom of the third with two runs tying the game 3-3. Gillaspie would lead the way for the Bulls, going 2-for-5, including a three run homer that gave the Bulls the lead for good.

It was just the second time the Bulls had won two games in a row in the month of August.

The Bulls now 2.5 games behind the Braves and will next face IL West Champion Columbus Clippers in an attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive.

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