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Sands lifts Bulls to win in front of friends, family

Posted April 3
Updated April 4

— Playing in front of two dozen friends and family members Thursday, Clayton native Jerry Sands went 3-for-3 with a home run in his Bulls debut as Durham rallied to beat Gwinnett, 7-6.

Sands hit a game-tying home run, just clearing the wall in right, in the bottom of the fifth inning as part of a back-to-back with Wilson Betemit as the Bulls rallied from an early 6-2 hole.

“I just got my barrel to it and it went,” Sands said. “It’s always good to start off the year strong.”

Betemit’s mammoth home run in the fifth cleared the seating in right field, landing on the concourse and bringing a rise out of the 9,483 people that showed up at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on opening night.

The Bulls hit three home runs on the night, something that head coach Charlie Montoyo said not to expect for the year.

Bulls centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier hit a two-run home run in the second inning after Gwinnett posted a three-spot in the first. Kiermaier finished the night 1-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored.

“You just want to take advantage of your opportunities,” Kiermaier said. “It was a relief, but it was a good way to start the season.”

Cole Figueroa, hitting out of the two-hole, was the beneficiary of a productive Durham lineup as he went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored two runs.

Durham’s bullpen, figured to be a strong spot this season, went 6.1 innings of shutout ball in replace of starter Nathan Karns. Brad Boxberger finished the seventh and got the win with 1.2 innings of work.

Kirby Yates threw a perfect ninth for the save.

“The key was (Merrill) Kelly,” Montoyo said of his bullpen. Kelly threw three innings in immediate relief of Karns to stop the Braves scoring for the night.

Gwinnett scored three runs in the first and three more in the third to build a 6-2 advantage.

The Bulls and Gwinnett will meet again Friday at DBAP at 7:05 (620 The Buzz).

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  • rush Apr 4, 10:40 a.m.

    Durham’s bullpen, figured to be a strong spot this season, went 6.1 innings of shutout ball in... View More

    — Posted by pause to consider

    It makes perfect sense (other than grammatical errors) for those of us who understand baseball. "went 6.1 innings of shutout ball in replace of starter Nathan Karns". 6 runs were scored in the first 2.2 innings off the starter, 0 runs for the other 6.1 for the relievers.

  • pause to consider Apr 4, 8:34 a.m.

    Durham’s bullpen, figured to be a strong spot this season, went 6.1 innings of shutout ball in replace of starter Nathan Karns. Brad Boxberger finished the seventh and got the win with 1.2 innings of work. Kirby Yates threw a perfect ninth for the save. “The key was (Merrill) Kelly,” Montoyo said of his bullpen. Kelly threw three innings in immediate relief of Karns to stop the Braves scoring for the night. Gwinnett scored three runs in the first and three more in the third to build a 6-2 advantage.

    I don't think Aaron was at the game as the above doesn't make sense. How do you go 6.1 innings of shut out ball when Gwinnett scored 3 in the 1st and 3 in the 3rd? Also, the "key" was Kelly, who isn't even mention in the pitching statements.... ?? I was looking forward to reading about this opening game, but this article left me under impressed.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 5
NOR 1
 
Final
TAM 4
BOS 3
Final
MIA 9
NYM 6
Final
ATL 0
PHI 7
Final
BAL 4
MIN 6
Final
STL 5
PIT 4
Final
CHC 4
MIL 2
Final
CLE 1
DET 12
Final
OAK 6
SEA 1
Final
SDP 3
ARI 1
Final
COL 10
SFG 9
Final
KAN 4
TEX 3
Final
LOS 4
WAS 6
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
DET
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
TOR
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
MIL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
ANA
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
TEX
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
PIT
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
ARI
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
WAS
 
Final
LOU 31
MIAMI 13
Final
DUR 5
NOR 1