Bulls Clinch Triple-A East League Title with 8-6 Win over Knights
CHARLOTTE, NC - Bulls pinch hitter Esteban Quiroz crushed a game-tying grand slam to help erase an early six-run deficit, while left fielder Miles Mastrobuoni's go-ahead run-scoring single in the eighth inning as Durham scored eight unanswered runs en route to an 8-6 victory over the Charlotte Knights on Thursday evening at Truist Field to clinch the Triple-A East Championship.
2021 marks the seventh Triple-A league title in Bulls franchise history after winning International League titles in 2002, 2003, 2009, 2013, 2017, and 2018. The seventh league title comes just one day after Durham clinched their 15th division title in 23 seasons at the Triple-A level.
The Knights roared ahead with a four-run opening frame before adding two more scores in the second to go ahead 6-0. The Bulls would narrow the deficit to four thanks to a two-run fifth, including a solo shot from 3B Curtis Mead, his first Triple-A home run. Quiroz would then come through in the clutch with his grand slam to right in the seventh to even the contest at 6-6. One inning later, Mastrobuoni lined his go-ahead RBI single to right-center before coming across on a wild pitch to make it 8-6.
Durham reliever Joey Krehbiel (1.1 IP, H, BB, K) earned the win by firing the final 1.1 scoreless frames, with David Hess (2.2 IP, 2 BB, 3 K) and Shawn Armstrong joining forces for 3.2 shutout innings. Knights relief man Will Carter (1.0 IP ,3 H, 2 R, 2 ER) suffered the defeat.
Durham is set to face off against Charlotte again on Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:04pm. RHP Brent Honeywell is anticipated to take the mound for the Bulls, while RHP Jimmy Lambert is slated to start for the Knights.
The Bulls return to Durham for their final homestand of the 2021 campaign on Wednesday, September 22 to start a five-game set versus the Gwinnett Stripers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. First pitch of the series opener is set for 6:35pm. Tickets for that game, as well as all remaining Bulls home games are available and can be purchased at DurhamBulls.com.
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