Durham Breaks up Scoreless Game Late
The Durham Bulls broke open a pitcher's duel with six late runs to knock off Norfolk 6-0 Friday night at Harbor Park.
The game was scoreless through the first six frames, but the Bulls drew first blood with a pair of unearned runs in the seventh. After a two-out error from Luis Sardiñas loaded the bases with two outs, Austin Meadows made the Tides pay with a two-run single to right field to give the Bulls a 2-0 lead.
Durham put the game away an inning later, as Jason Coats belted a three-run homer off of D.J Snelten to put the Bulls on top, 5-0. The Bulls capped the scoring in the ninth frame on an RBI single by Christian Arroyo.
With the win, Durham upped its advantage over Norfolk in the IL South to 5.5 games. The Tides and Bulls will meet seven times over the final 10 games of the season, with Durham's magic number to clinch the division standing at five. Norfolk is also 2.0 games back of Columbus and Indianapolis in the IL Wild Card standings.
Donnie Hart made a spot start for the Tides - his second career professional start - and he fired three shutout innings while striking out three. Hart now sports a 1.67 ERA in 30 outings with Norfolk this season, and he has not allowed an earned run in 14 consecutive appearances - a stretch that has included 20 strikeouts and two walks over 17.0 innings of work.
Jhan Mariñez, making his first appearance with Norfolk on a Major League Rehab Assignment, struck out two over a scoreless inning of relief. Mariñez, who is rehabbing a strained right hamstring, threw nine of his 13 pitches for strikes.
Austin Pruitt (3-0) earned the win for Durham after holding the Tides to two hits through six strong innings. Pruitt struck out seven without issuing a walk, retiring 18 of the 20 batters he faced.
Norfolk was limited to four hits in the contest, with Joey Rickard and Anthony Santander registering doubles. Santander's double was his first hit at the Triple-A level.
The two clubs will continue their four-game series on Saturday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:05. Saturday night the Tides will be wearing Margaritaville jerseys as part of a special Margaritaville Night at Harbor Park, courtesy of Norfolk International Airport and John's Tax Service. There will also be a special fireworks presentation after the game.
Notes: The Tides made a flurry of roster moves prior to Friday's game: OF Anthony Santander was transferred to Norfolk from Bowie, RHP Francisco Jimenez was transferred to Norfolk from Frederick, IF Sharlon Schoop was reinstated from the disabled list, OF DJ Stewart was placed on the Temporarily Inactive List, RHP Jhan Mariñez joined Norfolk on an MLB Rehab Assignment, IF Steve Wilkerson was placed on the disabled list (retro to 8/23) and IF Pedro Álvarez was placed on the disabled list (retro to 8/23).
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