Day after Tribe no-hits Durham, Bulls almost return the favor

Just one day after being no-hit by three Tribe hurlers, Durham held the Indianapolis Indians to just two hits, led by starter Matt Torra who began the game with seven straight hitless frames before surrendering a lead-off single to Tribe shortstop Jordy Mercer in the top of the eighth as the Bulls went on to snap their 13-game losing streak with a 1-0 win on Monday afternoon at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Less than 24 hours after Tribe hurlers Justin Wilson, Jose Diaz and Doug Slaten combined to no-hit Durham, the Bulls almost made history of their own.

Bulls starting pitcher Matt Torra (8.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO) began Monday afternoon’s contest with 5.1 perfect innings before hitting Tribe C Eric Fryer with a pitch in the top of the sixth.  Despite walking Indians CF Starling Marte later in the frame, Torra would induce a fielder’s choice from LF Gorkys Hernandez and an inning-ending groundout from 2B Anderson Hernandez to escape the threat and maintain the no-hit bid.

Torra would then blank the Tribe in the top of the seventh to head to eighth with a run at history still in sight.   However, Mercer would end Torra’s try at history by legging out an infield single to lead off the eighth.

With the no-hitter no longer a possibility, Torra and the Bulls turned their sights to ending their 13-game losing streak and the Bulls starter put down the Tribe 1-2-3 after Mercer’s single. Despite no-longer a contest for the record books, Torra’s eight scoreless frames proved to be key as on the other side Indianapolis starter Jeff Locke was turning in a spectacular showing of his own.

Locke (7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO) worked around three hits and four walks to hold a reeling Bull’s offense  scoreless and give the Tribe a chance at the victory despite managing only hit through eight frames.  However, the Bulls would finally break through in the bottom of the eighth and end a 30-inning scoreless drought that dated back to the fifth inning of the Indians 13-2 victory on Friday, April 27.

After Tribe reliever Daniel Moskos (Loss, 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB) retired the first batter in the bottom of the eighth, SS Shawn O’Malley drew a walk.  Then after 2B Reid Brignac popped out for the second out of inning, CF Jesus Feliciano came through with a clutch two-out double to right field to plate O’Malley for the only score of the contest.

The Indians would make things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, when Anderson Hernandez singled with one out, but Bulls reliever Cesar Ramos (1.0 IP, 1 H) would shut the door for his first save of the season, ending  Durham’s losing streak and thwarting the Tribe’s try at a sweep.

The Indians now continue their road trip with four contests in Norfolk, beginning with the series opener on Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m.  Just added to the roster early on Monday, RHP Daniel Cabrera is expected to make his Indians’ debut on the mound to start the contest in Norfolk, while the Tides are currently scheduled to counter with former Tribe LHP Dana Eveland.

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