The Norfolk Tides ended the Bulls four-game win streak Friday night, defeating Durham 7-5 at the DBAP. Norfolk plated six runs in the first four innings and that was all they needed the rest of the way, as Freddy Garcia (W, 1-0) grabbed his first win of the season. Despite the loss, Durham still has an International League-high seven wins and they finish their opening homestand with a 4-1 mark.
Norfolk's Jason Pridie led off the ballgame with a solo shot, and that was followed by SS Jonathan Schoop, who unloaded a monster blast in the third. Schoop's ball hit the second story of Diamond View II beyond the Blue Monster in left field.
J.D. Martin (L, 0-1) started for the Bulls and the right-hander surrendered six runs (three earned) on eight hits through 4.0 innings pitched. The starter did not surrender a walk, but he has now been the pitcher of record in both Durham losses this season, both to Norfolk.
Durham answered back with a run in the first when Wil Myers drilled an RBI sacrifice. The Rays' top prospect also drove in the second Bulls' run of the game when he grounded out in the third, plating Hak-Ju Lee. The Bulls shortstop positioned himself at third base for Myers after doubling to leadoff the frame, then stole third base for his fifth swipe in six chances this season. Leslie Anderson tattooed his third home run of the season to right field, a solo blast. Brandon Guyer and Anderson have six home runs combined in 2013, while the rest of the Bulls have none.
The Tides added a run in the sixth on a very odd turn of events. Following a Pridie leadoff walk, a perfectly executed hit-and-run went for not as Pridie was struck by a batted ball on the base path and called out. However, the batter who was awarded the hit, L.J. Hoes, reached base and then came around to score on a Danny Valencia RBI double, boosting the Tides lead to 7-3.
Durham once again responded as Lee singled home two runs with a two-out bloop hit over the shortstop, cutting Durham's deficit to two runs, 7-5. Jairo Ascencio (S, 1) retired the vaunted heart of the Bulls in order in the bottom of the 9th, sitting down Myers, Anderson, and Guyer to give Norfolk a split in the mini-series.
The Bulls will pack up and head to Fort Mill, South Carolina for a four-game series against the defending IL South Division Champion Charlotte Knights beginning Saturday night. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 0.00) will take the mound for Durham against Charlotte's RHP Matt Zaleski (1-0, 0.00) for a 7:15 p.m. first pitch from Knights Stadium. Durham will be seeking some revenge for 2012, when the Bulls went 6-15 against Charlotte last season.