In the highly touted pitchers’ duel Wednesday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the Bulls’ Matt Moore was great while the Gwinnett Braves’ Mike Minor was just good.
Moore tied the Bulls’ Triple-A career high with 13 strikeouts over eight innings in a 4-0 win, getting the Bulls back to a two-game lead over the second-place Braves in a time of 1:55.
Jason Hammel and Wade Davis are the other co-holders of the record.
The victory was the franchise’s 5,998th.
Moore earned the first win of his Triple-A career, not allowing a runner past first base after the first inning. He lasted eight innings and gave up three hits while walking two before Dane De La Rosa finished up.
“I was really focusing on throwing strike one and getting ahead in the count,” Moore said. “When I didn’t get ahead in the count, at least I was able to get back to even most of the time. I didn’t know I had 13 strikeouts until somebody told me. I just knew I had one or two an inning. I had all three pitches going tonight, had some good defense and the guys put up three runs early.”
Minor (3-5) went seven innings and allowed four runs – two earned – on five hits with seven strikeouts against no walks allowed.
“That was like coaching in the Futures Game,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Prospects like that, it was fun to watch. No wonder everybody wants Minor in a trade. That’s a good arm. And Moore was hitting with all his pitchers. That’s great at his age (22). He cruised through the game. And (Reid) Brignac was fun to watch. He’s competing hard to get to the big leagues, and that’s a good start.”
John Matulia hit a solo homer to jump-start the Bulls’ three-run rally in the third. Leslie Anderson also had a solo homer.
“I thought (Minor) had good stuff,” Matulia said. “Brignac told me he was throwing a lot of fastballs and to try to get it early, so I looked for the fastball early.”
Brignac, hitting leadoff after being optioned from Tampa Bay, went 3-for-4 while Ray Olmedo doubled and singled with an RBI.
“I had good at-bats throughout the night,” Brignac said. “It’s what I’m down here for, to have quality at-bats and swing at the right pitches. It’s another day tomorrow. I knew what I needed to do.”
Game 3 of the four-game set is on Thursday at 7:05, with lefty Alex Torres (7-6, 3.21) taking the mound against the Braves Todd Redmond (7-8, 3.18).