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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees edge Durham Bulls in 10 innings: The Process

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 6:00 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM—One-and-oh. Then a big swing and miss. One-and-one. Then a ball. Two-and-one. It's 4-3, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, bottom of the 10th inning. Brandon Guyer is at the plate. The Bulls have a run in, cutting the deficit from 4-2 to 4-3, on an RBI single by Leslie Anderson, plating J. J. Furmaniak, who drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a single by Omar Luna, and reached third on a fielder's choice groundout by Ray Olmedo—after Olmedo, like Guyer, took too big a hack with his first swing. Olmedo is now the tying run on second base following Anderson's single...

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bulls take advantage of Brackman's struggles, rip Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 11-3

Posted By on Sun, Jun 26, 2011 at 9:47 PM

Photo by Al DragoFelipe Lopez high fives Jose Lobaton after his homer in the bottom of the second. Lopez also had a double and a single. DBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls aren’t going to win their home series with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, but they still have a chance for a split with wins in the final two games. So far the Yankees have come with dominant pitching, as the Bulls have scored four runs in the two games and all have come off homers. Today the Bulls will go with Lance Cormier (0-1, 1.86) against Japanese southpaw Kei Igama (0-0, 0.84)....

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

UNC alum Warren sizzles on the hill as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tops Bulls 2-1

Posted By on Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Photo by Al DragoUNC alumnus Adam Warren pitched six shutout innings and allowed six hits with seven strikeouts against a walk.DBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls will try to recover tonight from one of their worst games of the season. Scranton/Wilkes Barre opened their four-game series on Friday night with a 14-3 victory. At least the Bulls played errorless baseball. And that type of thing has been an aberration, as Charlie Montoyo’s club still occupies its usual first-place spot in the International League’s South Division. Chris Bootcheck (3-1, 3.43) has been one of the Bulls’ steadier pitchers of late and will make...

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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees blast Durham Bulls, 14-3: Mercy!

Posted By on Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 6:00 AM

photo: Al DragoScranton/Wilkes-Barre third baseman Brandon Laird comes back into the dugout after his second-inning homer.DBAP/ DURHAM—The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" came pumping over the PA system in the middle of the ninth inning of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's pounding of the Durham Bulls, two TDs to a field goal, last night. That was about six innings too late. The Yankees hammered Brian Baker, pitching in place of flu-beset Alex Cobb (who said after the game that he feels much better and expects to start on Monday), for three runs on four extra-base hits in the second inning, highlighted by Brandon Laird's...

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Alexander Torres gem leads Durham Bulls past Buffalo Bisons: Confidence

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 6:00 AM

photo: Al DragoAlexander Torres pitched his best game of the season with 3 hits and 12 strikeouts in 7 innings.DBAP/ DURHAM—After we media mongrels finished interviewing Bulls starter Alexander Torres last night, following his seven-inning, three-hit, 12-strikeout domination of the Buffalo Bisons, he had a question for us. He wanted to know if we could understand his English okay. The answer was yes. Torres, who is from Venezuela, has an accent, but it isn't prohibitive; sometimes he misunderstands our questions and we have to repeat them, but he's in fact a very well-spoken and earnest young man. He just wants...

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Klinker leads solid team effort as Mudcats take first place

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 10:51 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Sometimes one of the best things in life is a second chance, and the Carolina Mudcats get one starting tonight. Photo courtesy Carolina MudcatsMudcats pitcher Matt KlinkerThe Mudcats ended the Southern League’s first half with a 23-47 record that was the worst in Minor League Baseball. But the second half begins tonight with the opener of a five-game home series with the Huntsville Stars. Huntsville was the Mudcats’ worst tormentor in the first half, winning all five games in the series in Alabama. Tonight will mark the Mudcats debut of catcher Yasmani Grandal, the first-round pick out...

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Durham Bulls beat Buffalo Bisons: Trust

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 6:00 AM

photo: Al DragoThe Bulls' Dan Johnson is congratulated after his three-run homer in the eighth inning of Wednesday afternoon's game at the DBAPDBAP/ DURHAM—After the Bulls lost, 9-1, to Buffalo on Tuesday night, dismally, Charlie Montoyo didn't seem too upset. That was revealing, because despite his general affect of everything's-OK, Montoyo actually wants to win, badly. He's an extremely competitive manager, and he probably knows, despite whatever assurances the Rays may give him about how his job is to develop players (with results secondary), that nothing smells more like job security than napalm in the mor playoff appearances. So when...

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

UNC women's hoops legend Smith takes top job at Elon

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Charlotte Smith isn’t an assistant coach with the UNC women’s basketball program any more. Photo courtesy UNC athleticsCharlotte SmithNow she’s the boss at Elon. Elon director of athletics Dave Blank announced at a Wednesday press conference that Smith will be the Phoenix’ new head coach, replacing Karen Barefoot who is the new head coach at Old Dominion. Smith served nine seasons under Sylvia Hatchell, helping direct the Tar Heels to four ACC titles and appearances in the NCAA Final Four in 2006 and ’07. The 1995 national player of the year, Smith hit the buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the 60-59 victory...

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Buffalo Bisons rout Durham Bulls: Summer and Smoke

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 6:00 AM

photo: marinerds.blogspot.comJason Botts as a Nippon Ham Fighter, 2008DBAP/ DURHAM—The smoke was at its thickest around noon yesterday, blotting out the blue of the sky. It seemed to let up in the late afternoon, but by the middle of last night's game it had gathered again. The DBAP's stadium lights made it seem denser than it probably was. The smoke added to the haze and heaviness of the already humid air. And why not? This was once a tobacco town. The Bulls got their name from the stuff. The smoke, which gave the locals headaches and caused much involuntary clearing...

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Durham Bulls edge Buffalo Bisons: Tempo

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 6:00 AM

photo: Al DragoChris Bootcheck's seven innings led the Bulls to victoryDBAP/ DURHAM—My last game story described baseball games as complicated affairs that eschew linear time. There were phrases like "retrospective teleology" and the contention that baseball's movement is made of "a series of tiny events whose concatenation is actually non-narrative, disjointed and finally inscrutable," and blah blah blah like that. So thanks for last night's game, a 2-1 Durham Bulls win over the Buffalo Bisons, which basically came down to one at-bat. In the top of the seventh inning, the Bulls were clinging to their 2-1 lead, provided by Desmond...

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

The more things change...Carolina RailHawks power past FC Tampa Bay 3-1

Posted By on Sun, Jun 19, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Carolina RailHawksMatt Watson battles for loose ball during RailHawks 3-1 victory over FC Tampa BayWAKEMED SOCCER PARK / CARY — Old met new Saturday evening when the Carolina RailHawks hosted FC Tampa Bay, Carolina’s first home match in three weeks. More precisely, the game and scene around WakeMed Soccer Park served as evidence of how far the RailHawks have come in less than a year. Seen sitting in the club owner’s box was the familiar visage of Selby Wellman, presumably in town to visit his son Brian over Father’s Day weekend and attending a RailHawks match for the first time...

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Niemann gets the only run he needs as Bulls blank Norfolk

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 10:36 PM

DBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls finish their four-game set with the Norfolk Tides looking for a tie before their off day and ensuing four-game road trip to Gwinnett. Courtesy of Durham BullsThe Bulls won 4-1 in a pretty one on Monday night, and temperatures in the low 80s greet a good crowd for the finale. Tonight will mark the second rehab outing for big Jeff Niemann (0-1, 9.00), who last pitched here in 2008 and is recovering from a back injury. Norfolk will counter with Mitch Atkins (1-1, 3.80). One run doesn’t often do it at DBAP, but it does tonight...

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Bootcheck, Furmaniak help Bulls get quick win over Norfolk

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 10:16 PM

DBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls have had at least a share of first place in the International League’s South Division since May 2, and they’ve recently been walking a tightrope to keep that streak alive. Photo courtesy Durham BullsBulls pitcher Chris BootcheckSo far they have had a very rough time with the Norfolk Tides, who until recently looked poised to run away with the worst record in the league. But the Tides have suddenly won five games in a row — the last two of them wet affairs in the first two of the four-game series here — while the Bulls...

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Norfolk Tides turn close one into late rout, beat Durham Bulls: Teleology

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Gary Allenson, ReceveurDBAP/ DURHAM—To make a beeline for the outcome, which is what teleology essentially buddies up to: The Norfolk Tides beat the Durham Bulls last night, 11-5. The game was much closer than that, because the Tides entered the ninth inning clinging to a 6-5 lead, long after they had erased a 3-0 first-inning deficit handed them by Russ Canzler's three-run homer off of Chris Tillman, who wound up getting the win. A five-run third inning, in which Norfolk bombed Brian Baker with back-to-back home runs by Jake Fox (just down from Baltimore) and Josh Bell, was decisive, in...

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Norfolk gets an early homer, holds on against tired Bulls

Posted By on Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 1:44 AM

Photo by Al DragoAfter a three-hour and nine minute rain delay, the Bulls fall to Norfolk 5-4. DBAP/DURHAM It’s the opening game of the Durham Bulls’ four-game series against the Norfolk Tides, and club management seems absolutely bound and determined to get this one in tonight. It’s the club’s annual “Negro League Night,” in which a number of hometown African American men who played semi-pro ball 50 years ago are introduced in pregame ceremonies and then the Bulls and their opponents play in gray or white replica uniforms from the old Negro Leagues. The Bulls are back from splitting a...

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tennessee ruins series opener for Mudcats, Chapman throws hard but a bit wild

Posted By on Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 11:19 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats mercifully come into their final home series of the first half, taking on the Tennessee Smokies who are the hottest team in the Southern League. Photo by Nikolaus © 2011 Carolina MudcatsMudcats manager David BellWith 10 games left in the half Tennessee is the SL’s hottest team with a 37-23 record, while the Mudcats are 18-42 and eagerly anticipating their reset at their All-Star Break. The Mudcats have had several transactions today. Infielder Jose Castro is on the disabled list with a hyperextended left knee while Clayton Shunick — the right-hander out of N.C....

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Kevin Millwood and Pawtucket Red Sox' rout ends Durham Bulls' homestand: Resurfacing

Posted By on Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 7:33 PM

DBAP/ DURHAM—Major-league veteran Kevin Millwood, trying to make it back to the majors and resume what was once an impressive big-league career, had his best start in a long time today. He needed just 63 pitches to go 6 2/3 innings, allowing just one run, and led the PawSox (way) past the Bulls, 11-3. Durham heads up to North Division-leading Lehigh Valley after a sister-kissing 4-4 homestand. Almost a brother-kissing one, too: Durham utility infielder Omar Luna's brother, Hector, plays for the PawSox. Omar pitched the final inning of the blowout loss—hitting 93 mph on the radar gun ("Luna threw...

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Durham Bulls come back, beat Pawtucket Red Sox: After Dark, My Sweet

Posted By on Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Photo by Al DragoThe Bulls' Ray Olmedo hitting the game-winning single last night at the DBAPDBAP/ DURHAM—It was about 20 minutes after 8:00 p.m. last night when Ray Olmedo singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving Durham a 5-4 win over Pawtucket. The dusk hour. The Bulls had been dozing during the daylight portion of the game, which started a little after 5:00 p.m. The stadium lights came on during the seventh inning, the game's pivotal frame, and it was as if the lights woke the slumbering home team. With Pawtucket up 4-3 in...

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

McDonald, Anderson homer for Pawtucket in another win over Bulls

Posted By on Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Photo by Al DragoLars Anderson had a homer and three RBI to set Pawtucket up for success. DBAP/DURHAM The Durham Bulls come into a packed Saturday night house in Game 6 of their homestand, looking to end a two-game losing streak. Tonight’s visitor is of course the Pawtucket Red Sox, the team that has been Durham’s worst tormentor in the history of Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Pawtucket has won 32 and lost 22 here, the only International League team with a victorious mark in Durham. I think it’s the Blue Monster/Green Monster connection, since the Red Sox obviously sign players...

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Andrew Miller, Pawtucket Red Sox beat Durham Bulls: cooling off

Posted By on Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Kelly O'ConnorPawSox Andrew Miller was the National Pitcher of the Year for UNC in 2006DBAP/ DURHAM—On Thursday night, the intense grip of heat and humidity that stifled the Triangle all week suddenly lifted. Around the time that Bulls reliever Rob Delaney walked in the winning run in a 2-1, 10-inning loss to Columbus, the air had begun a stark transformation. Instead of sultry night heat lowering down on us, a cool and light breeze was blowing. It was almost like April again. On Friday morning, I stepped out of the house around 9:00 a.m. and my first thought was that...

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bases-loaded walk in 10th foils Bulls' attempt at Columbus sweep

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 10:55 PM

DBAP/DURHAM Nobody would ever have thought this a week ago, but the Durham Bulls come into the finale of their four-game series against the mighty Columbus Clippers with a chance for a sweep. Photo courtesy Durham BullsDurham Bulls outfielder Brandon GuyerColumbus, which is still the runaway leader of the International League’s West Division, won all four games when the Bulls visited Huntington Park in the series ending May 24. But the Bulls have taken three straight here and will go for a tie of the season series tonight. Ryan Reid (0-0, 4.70) will make the spot start for Durham, his...

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Three Blue Devil rookies, Breland make WNBA rosters

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 6:31 PM

All three 2011 Duke seniors plus UNC alumna Jessica Breland will be among the rookies on active rosters when the WNBA season tips off on Friday night. Jasmine Thomas, who was the last pick of the first round, and second-round pick Karima Christmas will play for the Washington Mystics. Including fellow Duke alumnae Alana Beard and Monique Currie, Blue Devils make up a third of the roster for N.C. State alumna and head coach Trudi Lacey. Breland, who sat out two seasons ago with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, came back to lead the Tar Heels to a 28-9 season and was winner...

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Durham Bulls take third straight from Columbus Clippers: watch what you're doing

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Marilyn Monroe, reading James Joyce's UlyssesDBAP/ DURHAM—One of the fashionably renovated shopfronts in downtown Durham is now occupied by one of those mover-and-shaker type companies—the kind that like to move into fashionably renovated shopfronts—a consultancy or ad agency or marketing group of the sort whose actual work and purpose is not very clear to business-deaf people like me. "When data moves, retailers win," asserts a logo decalled onto the shopfront window: it's the sort of catchy phrase that, when you think about it (or when a writer like me thinks about it, anyway), eventually reveals itself to be either completely...

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thin ice melts in Hotlanta: Thrashers move to Winnipeg

Posted By on Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 10:05 AM

The Atlanta Thrashers have finally stopped thrashing. Image copyright Fire Wagon Hoceky.Goaltender Kari Lehtonen looks into the future of the Atlanta Thrashers during a 2007 game. The Thrashers were sold to a Winnipeg group on Tuesday, ending 11 futile years of hockey in the Peachtree state. After 11 largely pointless years skating before a bewildered assortment of transplanted hockey fans, passionless corporate types, and empty stadium seats in the Georgia capital, the Thrashers are packing up and heading north for Winnipeg, Manitoba. Their bumbling ownership group announced the franchise sale with an insincere press release Tuesday afternoon, prompting dancing in...

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