With two outs and the Tides trailing 4-3 in the 7th inning, Justin Turner singled off Heath Rollins (0-1) to start the decisive rally. Montanez followed with a long drive off the base of the centerfield wall for a triple that scored Turner, then headed home after the relay throw from shorstop Angel Chavez eluded third baseman Dan Johnson. Montanez was caught in a rundown, however, but he eluded being tagged out long enough to scamper home with the go-ahead run to put the Tides up 5-4.
Norfolk extended its lead an inning later on an RBI single by Adam Donachie that plated Scott Moore.
Tides closer Alberto Castillo then worked around a leadoff double by striking out the side to register his first save and give Norfolk its first victory of the 2010 campaign.
Norfolk starter Jake Arrieta overcame some wildness in his first outing of the year to toss five shutout innings. The 24-year-old allowed three hits and walked four while striking out two, throwing 42 of his 80 pitches for strikes.
Arrieta departed with a 3-0 lead but the Bulls struck for two runs in the sixth against reliever Jim Miller and two more in the seventh off Miller and Frank Mata (1-0). Norfolk's rally in the bottom of the seventh gave Mata the win, his first at the Triple-A level.
A night after the two teams combined for 26 strikeouts, there were 13 walks issued in the game.
Norfolk and Durham will continue their four-game set on Saturday night with first pitch slated for 7:15. Alfredo Simon will make his Harbor Park debut for the Tides against Bulls right-hander Virgil Vasquez.