The Durham Bulls won their fourth straight game Thursday night, routing the Norfolk Tides 9-0 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Durham starter Alex Colome (W, 1-0) was once again brilliant, as he was in his first start of the season, hurling six shutout innings to lead the Bulls to their International League-best seventh win.
Early on, the Bulls made sure there was not a repeat of last Saturday's game when Colome and Tides starter Jair Jurrjens combined to allow zero runs on just two total hits through 12.0 innings of work. In the second, Vince Belnome doubled following a Chris Gimenez walk. Then, the hot-hitting Cole Figueroa grounded out with the infield back for an early 1-0 Durham lead.
Colome had a no-hitter working until the fifth inning when Yamaico Navarro spoiled the bid with a double off the Blue Monster, placing two runners in scoring position. However, the young right-hander worked his way out of the jam with a strikeout of Luis Exposito.
Durham added their second run of the game in the sixth when Belnome singled to shallow center, his second of two hits on the night, scoring Gimenez. Jurrjens departed after 5.2 innings of work, as he allowed two runs on four hits. The right-hander struck out two, but walked four en route to his first loss of 2013.
Adam Liberatore entered the fold in the seventh inning for the Bulls and the southpaw retired five straight until he yielded a two-out walk in the eighth inning, concluding his evening. RHP Josh Lueke relieved the lefty and struck out the first batter he faced to end the eighth inning in stride.
Rich Thompson laced his second single of the game to start the Bulls huge eighth, scoring both Figueroa and Hak-Ju Lee following an error on the right fielder. Thompson then scored to make the score 5-0 Bulls when Jason Bourgeois singled him home with a shot up the middle. Earlier in the game, Thompson stole his 465th career base in the Minor Leagues, as he rests comfortably atop the active MiLB stolen base leaders. Leslie Anderson drove in two runs on his double to right field, then Gimenez singled home Anderson for an 8-0 Bulls lead. Mike Fontenot concluded the Bulls six-run eighth inning with an RBI double, as the frame ended with Durham leading 9-0. Gimenez reached base three times on Thurday. Every Bulls starter notched an RBI in the game except Lee and Wil Myers, who was hitless for the first time in a Durham uniform.
Lueke (S, 1) worked the final 1.1 innings, as he surrendered no runs and struck out four for the first save of the season for any Durham reliever.
The Bulls season opening homestand and mini-series with Norfolk concludes Friday night with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch from the DBAP. Durham will start right-hander J.D. Martin (0-0, 5.79) against Major League veteran RHP Freddy Garcia (0-0, 5.40). Following the game, the two teams will go their separate ways with Durham heading to Charlotte for a four-game series.