Bulls' bats lead into the second half
Durham is picking up the slack that they left earlier in the spring, raising their team average to .265, which is good enough to put them at second place in the league. While Leslie Anderson has been the steadiest factor in the Bulls run production department, it's been a collective effort — five regular starters have raised their averages to above .300.
"The guys who have been here all year put in a lot of work at the beginning of the season, and it is finally starting to pay off," said hitting coach Dave Myers. "That, with the addition of a couple guys who have come back from the big leagues like Vogt and Gimenez who are fitting in well, is the combination that is getting it done for us."
Anderson and De La Rosa All-Stars
Designated hitter/outfielder Leslie Anderson and relief pitcher Dane De La Rosa have been voted to appear in the 25th edition of the Triple-A All-Star Game in Buffalo, New York.
Anderson has been the steady centerpiece of Durham's lineup this season in terms of hitting, maintaining an average of .312 with a team-leading 8 homers and 34 RBI. Leading the International League in hitting for the first three months of the season, he has been a mainstay on the league's hitting leader board and was a big reason the Bulls were able to keep their head above water when they struggled at the plate earlier this season.
De La Rosa has maintained a 3.09 ERA over 43.2 innings of work, earning a team-high nine saves in the process. Steady improvement is what has driven the California native's all-star campaign, as he dropped his ERA from 6.24 during the month of May to only 1.93 during June.
Transactions in the Triangle
Right-hander Matt Buschmann was reassigned to the AA Montgomery Biscuits after giving up 13 hits and six earned runs in just two starts for the Bulls — he got a win in his only start since being sent back down to Double-A, but allowed more hits (7) than he had K's (4).
Christopher Archer came back to Triple-A ball after getting two starts for the Rays. He compiled 11.2 innings in that stint, while giving up only four earned runs on seven hits and striking out 14.
Relief pitcher Brandon Gomes also came back to Durham after a short trip to the bigs, making three appearances and giving up six hits and four earned runs (all of which came against the Kansas City Royals on June 26th), striking out only one.
Following a two-month taste of the majors, reliever Cesar Ramos returns to the Bulls as Kyle Farnsworth finishes his rehab assignment. Ramos managed a 1.48 ERA over 12.2 innings of work with 10 K's in June with the Rays, and will look to pick up where he left off with Durham earlier this season (3-1, 1.42, 1 SV).
Finally, outfielder Matt Joyce started his rehab assignment on July 4th and went 0-for-2 with a walk in his first game. He was not in the starting lineup for July 5th's game after experiencing some discomfort in his back and his rehab has been put on hold.
Mid-July division gauntlet
The Bulls (42-46) will stay intra-division on their upcoming road trip, heading south to take on the Gwinnett Braves (40-47) and the division-leading Charlotte Knights (48-39). The team remains 6.5 games back.
Ben Christoph is the Durham beat writer for Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @btchristoph
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