After rallying from a four-run deficit, the Durham Bulls were not able to surpass the Indianapolis Indians, falling 6-4 Friday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
In front of an almost sold out crowd of 9.565, fans were into the game early and often. The wave was first spotted in the third inning. There wasn't a section of the ballpark without fans—even the grass section in center field.
Right-handed starter Merrill Kelly, who was recently called up from Double-A Montgomery, struck out 10 batters through 5.1 innings in his debut Triple-A start.
"I didn't know what to expect from him," Bulls Manager Charlie Montoyo said. "He pitched really well and I'm happy to see that."
Durham fell behind quickly 4-0 by the sixth inning but had chances to score, with runners reaching base in almost every inning. In both the fourth and fifth inning, the Bulls had two men aboard and were unable to score.
However, the Bulls did answer in the sixth and seventh inning.
Leslie Anderson and Wil Myers recorded back-to-back singles in the sixth and were eventually sent home to score after Cole Figueroa singled to shallow center field.
In the seventh, Vince Belnome belted a RBI triple into the corner of right field, scoring Tim Beckham, and cutting the lead to 4-3. Belnome was eventually crossed home plate after a passed ball, tying the game up at 4-4.
Once again the Bulls had an opportunity to score runs, and take the lead, in the eighth inning but fell short with runners on the corners. The Bulls went 1-for-9 with runner in scoring position, leaving 12 runners on base.
"It seemed like in the bottom of the ninth we had the right guys coming up," Montoyo said. "There's always a chance for a walk-off but it didn't happen."
Indianapolis broke through in the 10th frame after Brett Carroll belted a home run over the Blue Monster from reliever Steve Geltz. Jerry Sands later went deep to right field, sealing the win for the Indians, 6-4.
The Bulls will take on the Indians Saturday night in game two of a four-game series at the DBAP starting at 7:05.