The Bats were just where they wanted entering the sixth inning Wednesday night. The score was tied at three, their young ace was on the mound and they had a major league outfielder and quartet of top prospects waiting to further dent the scoreboard. A funny thing happened on the way to the party though as Durham scored five in the sixth to post a 8-4 victory in game one of the best-of-five series.
Reliver Federico Baez replaced starter Travis Wood, who had struggled through a three-run fifth, to start the sixth inning. Former Bat Ray Olmedo greeted him with a one-out triple, before Baez struck out Desmond Jennings. The Bulls then strung together five consecutive hits to plate five runs with two outs, blowing the game open.
The Bulls’ win spoiled the AAA debut of Reds’ top prospect Yonder Alonso, who went 0-4 in the opener, and a two-home run night from slugger Juan Francisco. Durham starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson struck out 12 Bats in five and two-thirds innings to earn the win.