DURHAM, N.C. - The first-place Durham Bulls padded their lead in the IL South with a 5-3 win over the second-place Gwinnett Braves Wednesday night at the DBAP in the first of four straight games between the sides.
The win gave Durham a 6.0 game lead in the South, their biggest edge over Gwinnett since June 18.
After starter Alex Colome gave up a first-inning home run to IL All Star Phil Gosselin, Durham right fielder Justin Christian evened the score with a homer of his own in the bottom of the frame. Christian also doubled in a 3-for-3 night, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. Colome (4-1) earned the victory, tossing seven innings of one-run ball.
After a second-inning double by Jayson Nix put Durham (47-41) on top, Bulls center fielder Mikie Mahtook, named to the IL All-Star team earlier in the day, hit a mammoth three-run homer to left-center in the fifth to propel the Bulls in front 5-1.
Robby Price, a last-minute addition to the starting lineup, finished 3-for-3 with a run scored and an intentional walk.
Adam Liberatore allowed two runs in 1 2/3 frames of relief for Durham, while Steve Geltz earned his first save of the season by registering the final out. Yunesky Maya (3-2) took the loss for Gwinnett (40-46), surrendering five runs on nine hits over five innings of work.
The Bulls finish the brief two-game homestand against the Braves Thursday at 7:05 p.m. when they send the rehabbing RHP Jeremy Hellickson (0-4, 9.00) to the mound against RHP Gus Schlosser (4-3, 4.39) for the G-Braves.