Bulls players contribute in I.L. All-Star Game

All four Bulls players on the roster saw action and contributed to the I.L. cause

The International League lost to the Pacific Coast League, 6-4, in the annual Triple-A All-Star Game. It’s tough to blame that result on the contributions of the first place Durham Bulls, however.

The Bulls sent four players to Tacoma for the game, as well as manager Jared Sandberg, who served as a coach for the International League. Sandberg thought the team, who enjoyed a 10 and a half game lead in the I.L. South at the break, may have been underrepresented.

“I’m happy for the four guys, especially when we’ve only had one guy on the all-star team each of the last few years,” he said before leaving for Tacoma. “But when you’re a first-place team, especially by that margin, you should make up a good portion of the roster.”

Sandberg pointed to catcher Curt Casali and several relief pitchers as possible all-star snubs. “The guys know who they are,” Sandberg added.

All four Bulls all-stars saw action in the contest.

Shortstop Willy Adames started the game for the I.L. and went 2-for-3, tying for the team lead in hits. Adames also led off the fifth inning with a solo home run, cutting into the PCL lead. Adames has shaken off a slow first month of the season to become one of the league’s hottest hitters.

Adames left the game in the bottom of the sixth, as the International League made wholesale substitutions on defense. That was the same point where Patrick Leonard entered the game.

The Bulls’ leading hitter all season long, Leonard played third base for the final three innings of the game. He reached base twice, on walks, in his only two plate appearances. Leonard has 41 RBI and 12 stolen bases to go with his team-high 90 hits on the season.

Catcher Mike Marjama started the game for the I.L. and went 0-for-2 before leaving the game in the fifth inning. Marjama is one of the best hitting catchers in the league, with a .274 average and six home runs.

Reliever Andrew Kittredge helped the I.L. get out of a jam in the sixth inning, coming in with a runner on base and stranding him. Kittredge pitched into the seventh and departed without allowing a run and striking out one of the four batters he faced. Kittredge is 5-1 on the year with a 1.93 ERA. His 54 strikeouts lead Durham relievers.

A former Bull, Richie Shaffer, now of the Columbus Clippers, also had a big All-Star Game. The designated hitter went 2-for-3 with a home run, double and two RBI.

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