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Sunday, May 10, 2009

RailHawks squawk, Battery charges; Charleston wins 2-1

Posted By on Sun, May 10, 2009 at 12:48 AM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—On a night when thunder and lightning knocked out an hour of power and heavy rain unequivocally defined the term fair weather fan for several dozen families who sheepishly made their mini-vanning way home, the Charleston Battery and Carolina RailHawks huffed and banged their way through 90 minutes of football. Carolina entered the game on top of the USL-1 table and had never lost to their Southern Derby rivals, posting a 7-0 record over the past two seasons. Keeper Caleb Patterson Sewell had not conceded a goal in his RailHawks tenure and Martin Rennie was able...

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bulls Fall to Gwinnett; Kennedy Era Over

Posted By on Sat, May 9, 2009 at 2:09 AM

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="340" caption="Adam Kennedy was traded to Oakland yesterday"][/caption]The Durham Bulls fell meekly to the Gwinnett Braves tonight, 7-1. Since starting the year 6-0, the Bulls have gone 10-12. They remain 1/2 game behind Norfolk in the International League Southern Division. Wade Davis took the loss (his first of the season) for Durham, giving up three runs on four hits and three walks in five innings. Sidearming lefthander Randy Choate (who has appeared in half the Bulls' games), Dewon Day and Jason Isringhausen relieved. Isringhausen gave up his first runs of the season in a three-run eighth. He...

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Friday, May 8, 2009

O say, can ‘Jussi’? Jokinen pots game-winner again as 'Canes put Bruins in 3-1 series bind

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2009 at 11:32 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> RBC CENTER/ RALEIGH—The ‘Canes decided they liked their Game 3 performance, when Eric Staal, Sergei Samsonov and Jussi Jokinen scored in succession. So they decided to replicate the game with the same scorers, albeit in a different order. Carolina continued its strong play in the neutral zone and its special teams took care of the rest, winning the contest 4-1. This time it was a third period surge that carried the ‘Canes over the Bruins and put a stranglehold on the season series. The ‘Canes need only one more win to...

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Knights Slash Price, Bulls

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2009 at 11:43 PM

In Fort Mill, SC tonight, the Charlotte Knights broke open a close game late, scoring five runs in the seventh inning and adding another in the eighth to win 10-2 and split their two-game series (a de facto home-and-home four-gamer, really). All six of the late runs came off of Bulls' reliever Chad Orvella, a former N.C. State pitcher. Orvella has really struggled lately. Over his last seven innings, spanning four appearances, he has allowed 17 hits and 16 earned runs. His ERA has mushroomed to 8.35, worst on the team. Orvella has thrown 82 big-league innings for Tampa Bay,...

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Bulls Take Knights in Charlotte

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2009 at 11:35 AM

The Durham Bulls won a rare (for them) slugfest yesterday, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning and fending off Charlotte 8-7 at Knights Stadium, which is actually in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Matt Joyce carried the load for the Bulls, hitting a two-run homer in the first and adding a soft two-run single to center in the sixth. Bulls starter Mitch Talbot (3-2) picked up the win, allowing four runs in five innings. Dale Thayer earned his fourth save for Durham. He came in with a man on and one out in the ninth and gave...

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Finnish finisher Jussi Jokinen pots another winner for the 'Canes in Game 3

Posted By on Wed, May 6, 2009 at 11:48 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 RBC CENTER/ RALEIGH—After yet another Jussi Jokinen clutch goal, this one in overtime against the Boston Bruins, the Carolina Hurricanes find themselves in a position they aren’t used to – ahead. Eric Staal, Sergei Samsonov and Jokinen scored and Ward made 21 saves in a back-and-forth match to give the ‘Canes a 3-2 win and a 2-1 series advantage in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. “You know, there are things called the hockey gods. Sometimes they’ll give the breaks to the team that...

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I'm Only Happy When It Rains and The Bulls Win

Posted By on Wed, May 6, 2009 at 3:35 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM---It was already misting at gametime this afternoon, sprinkling in the third inning, and by the seventh-inning stretch it was pouring. Finally, the sky began to get higher and the downpour subsided an inning before the Bulls finished off their 7-2 win over Charlotte, earning a split of the series and the homestand. It was nice to see the Bulls' bats wake up a bit, although they continued to scuffle with runners in scoring position. They hit three home runs today (Brignac, Richard, Ruggiano), which accounted for six of their seven runs, but still managed to strand 11 baserunners....

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mudcats' Dallas Buck on DL

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Carolina Mudcats' right-hander Dallas Buck has been placed on the seven-day disabled list with an inflamed right shoulder. Buck, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his elbow last year,  is 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA in 26 innings pitched. Matt Klinker has been promoted to the Mudcats from Sarasota, the High-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. He  will make his Double-A debut tonight against the Mobile BayBears. A Greenville, S.C., native and Furman grad, Klinker was 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA in his five starts with Sarasota.  Klinker spent the first half of the 2008 season at the Dayton Dragons, the...

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My Carlos Can Beat Up Your Carlos, Or Knights Beat Bulls

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2009 at 1:56 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM---Another start for Carlos Hernandez, another tail-kicking: He went 4 2/3 innings tonight and allowed ten hits and five runs (four earned) in the Bulls' rain-shortened 8-3 loss to Charlotte. Oddly, he seemed to be throwing harder than he has so far this season, touching 92 once on the scoreboard radar gun. But the result was the same: a lot of his fastballs were punched around by the Knights' batsmen, who swung and missed only six times at Hernandez's 96 pitches. By contrast, his counterpart, Carlos Torres, got five swings and misses in one twelve-pitch sequence in the fourth...

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ward shuts out Boston, 3-0; Hurricanes head home with even series

Posted By on Sun, May 3, 2009 at 11:22 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> In their wildest dreams, perhaps Caniacs dared to think of earning a split against Boston at home. This was a team that had lost six of 44 games in regulation in their own building and thoroughly manhandled the ‘Canes in Game 1. In addition, this was a team that had beaten Carolina five straight times by a combined score of 22-6. The ‘Canes hit another level tonight and Cam Ward had what was clearly an out-of-body experience in the net tonight en route to a dominating 3-0 shut out win in...

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Bulls Salvage Split with Clippers

Posted By on Sun, May 3, 2009 at 9:45 PM

DBAP / DURHAM---After a pair of disastrous, er, colonizations at the hands of Columbus on Friday and Saturday, Durham rebounded with a crisp 4-2 win today. The game took just 2:11 to play. The Bulls relief corps was back to its April form, throwing four scoreless, one-hit innings in relief of winner Wade Davis. (n.b. If you check the box score, don't believe Davis' pitch count of 73. In fact he threw many more -- 91 by my count, 50 for strikes. The guy manning Dave Levine's play-by-play computer today got tied up trying to untangle and then record the...

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RailHawks still (sort of) in first place despite Portland disappointment

Posted By on Sun, May 3, 2009 at 1:50 PM

USL LIVE/ WEB—This weekend, reality set in for the Carolina RailHawks. No one expected the team—which won its first three games—to continue its perfect form, but after two games this weekend in Portland in which they went 180 minutes without scoring, the difficulty of building and maintaining a first-place team is now evident. To be sure, after last night's 2-0 loss to the Timbers, the RailHawks are still in first with 10 points, but lurking below in third is Puerto Rico, which has seven points and two games in hand. Rochester also has seven points, with one game in hand....

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The Price isn't right as Columbus clips Durham Bulls

Posted By on Sun, May 3, 2009 at 12:03 AM

DBAP / DURHAM—An announced crowd of more than 9,000—including my 6-year-old son and I—ventured to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park to enjoy some lovely weather and the final kid-friendly 5:05 p.m. start time for a Saturday evening Bulls' home game this season. The atmosphere was wonderful, especially with second-row seats along the first base line, and once my son finally got the cotton candy he was craving even before the game started. Far less pleasant was watching the Columbus Clippers hang double-digit runs against the Bulls pitching staff for the second consecutive game, following up Friday night's 14-1 shellacking with a 10-6 win...

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

This Post Is Almost About The Bulls

Posted By on Sat, May 2, 2009 at 3:33 PM

I imagine one of my colleagues will post some thoughts today about the Columbus Clippers grinding the Bulls into a fine paste (ratio of water to Bull: 14:1) last night at the DBAP. Meanwhile, a minor (league) transaction yesterday got me thinking about Chris Wise's pondering over at Watching Durham Bulls Baseball the other day. Taking note of my rundown of Gerry Hunsicker's/Tampa's organizational philosophy and how the Bulls fit into it, a thread on Rays Index about potential trade bait on the Durham roster, and Jessica Havens' tearing the major league squad a new one (by throwing her voice,...

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Finishing touches lacking as Carolina ties Portland

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2009 at 2:35 PM

USLLIVE/ WEB—Although the RailHawks are now in command of the league table with 10 points in four outings, it’s a bit worrisome that they've scored only four goals in four games. Fortunately, an airtight defense, led by the central trio of Mark Schulte, Jack Stewart and Amir Lowery, hasn't given up a goal since the season opener against Minnesota. Schulte and Lowery, furthermore, have played every minute of the season, with Stewart just a half-hour behind. Last night, with a perfect nine points in three games, the RailHawks went to Portland for the first of two fixtures against the...

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Bulls bats awaken, but scoring is a struggle in 6-3 victory

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2009 at 8:00 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM—In the young season, on of the main storylines out of Durham has been the Bulls' silent bats. In 19 games the Bulls have averaged 3.74 runs, relying on solid but brief starting pitching and a workhorse bullpen to win games. On Thursday, the Bulls' offense awoke as they tallied 10 hits, six walks and a total of 18 baserunners. However, the Bulls discovered that while getting runners on base is one thing, scoring runs is another. The Clippers struck first, in the top of the first, as Bulls pitcher James Houser allowed a leadoff double to center...

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