Sonnastine leads Bulls over Tides

Andy Sonnastine may not have the best stuff of the starters in the Durham Bulls rotation, but he is pitching like the ace of the staff. Sonnastine (4-2) picked up his team leading fourth win of the season on Wednesday night in Durham's 3-2 win over the Norfolk Tides.

Andy Sonnastine may not have the best stuff of the starters in the Durham Bulls rotation, but he is pitching like the ace of the staff. Sonnastine (4-2) picked up his team leading fourth win of the season on Wednesday night in Durham's 3-2 win over the Norfolk Tides. He scattered 5 hits and allowed only 2 earned runs over 7.2 innings The 6'3 righty, who has the lowest ERA of all of the Bulls starters at 2.17, also struck out five and did not walk a single batter in the win.

With each outing, Sonnastine continues to make a strong case to be called up to big league club at some point this year. Headed in to Wednesday, Sonnastine had only allowed 28 hits in 9 earned runs in 38.0 innings of the work establishing himself as one of the top pitchers in all of the International League. He has given the Bulls a quality start in all six of his outings and could easily be 6-0 if he was given more run support.

Against the Tides, all Sonnastine needed was three runs, two of which came of the bat of catching prospect Shawn Riggans. Riggans, who had a big night on Tuesday with a 3 hit performance, blasted a two-run homerun, his 3rd of the year, to give the Bulls a 2-1 lead in the 6th inning. Riggans finished the night 2-4 with 2 RBIS filling in as the Bulls designated hitter. He was the only Bull to record 2 hits, which proved to be 1/3 of the team's total (6). After a slow start, the top catching prospect in the Devil Rays organization according to Scout, is now hitting .271.

Jorge Velandia drove in the what proved to be the winning run with a RBI single in the bottom half of the 8th inning. Velandia, who had four hits to pace the Bulls 17 hit attack on Tuesday, finished the night 1-4.

Jeff Ridgway is also making a strong case to be called up to St. Petersburg. Since the Devil Rays do not have a left handed pitcher out of the bullpen, Ridgway could be a valuable commodity to the big league club in the near future. Even though he had rough time in Spring Training with the parent club, Ridgway has posted a 2.45 ERA for the Bulls to start the year. In 14.2 innings of work, he has only allowed 11 hits and 4 earned runs. Ridgway picked up his 4th hold of the season in Wednesday's win. Scott Dohmann earned his second save of the year after tossing a scoreless 9th inning to close the door.

Honestly, would Sonnastine be doing any worse than Jae Seo has done for the Devil Rays? I don't think so.


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