Durham, NC - J.P. Howell was dominant in his return to Durham allowing only two hits in seven scoreless innings, but the Tides rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth inning to down the Bulls 4-1, on Thursday night at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Playoff contenders Richmond, Buffalo, and Rochester all won, so Durham (56-49) fell four games behind Richmond (59-44) for first place in the South Division, and trails Buffalo (56-47) by a game and Rochester (57-49) by a half-game in the Wild Card race.
LHP Jeff Ridgway (1-3) tried to close out the game in the ninth inning, but an RBI-single from Alberto Castillo tied the game at one. With two outs, Ridgway struck out Adam Stern, but catcher Josh Johnson dropped the ball and made a wild throw to first to keep the inning alive. Luis Montanez took advantage of the opportunity and hit a two-RBI single to score two unearned runs. J.R. House then hit an RBI-ground rule double to make the score 4-1.
After surrendering just two hits and four walks while striking out three, Howell was relieved by RHP Seth McClung who pitched a scoreless eighth inning. LHP Garrett Olson was impressive for Norfolk allowing just one run on six hits and two walks while striking out eight to give him a total of 110 on the year and pass Bulls' RHP Jeff Niemann (108) for the league lead. The only run he allowed came in the second inning when Jeremy Owens hit an RBI-triple to score Jorge Velandia from first with two outs.
The Bulls and Tides will conclude the series on Friday night at 7 PM at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. For tickets, go to www.durhambulls.com or call the box office at (919) 956-BULL.
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