DURHAM, N.C. - The first-place Durham Bulls fell to the Toledo Mud Hens 5-3 in front of 9,669 fans at the DBAP Friday night in the opener of a four-game set.
After Jeremy Moore doubled and later scored on a double play in the second inning to give the Bulls a lead, Toledo's Tyler Collins hit a two-run homer off of Bulls starter Mike Montgomery in the fourth to take a 2-1 advantage.
The Bulls (56-49) knotted the score in the sixth on Moore's sixth homer of the year, which went sailing over the Blue Monster.
Toledo (53-55) took the lead right back in the seventh though, as Collins led off the inning with a walk, stole second and scored on Ben Guez's RBI single. Guez later came around to score on an RBI grounder by Brandon Douglas to extend the visitor's lead to 4-2.
Vince Belnome hit an opposite-field dinger for Durham in the bottom of the seventh to bring the deficit to one, but Guez added a solo shot in the ninth for Toledo to provide some insurance.
Robbie Ray (6-4) earned the win with eight strikeouts over six innings for Toledo, while Kevin Whelan earned his 18th save with a scoreless ninth. Montgomery (9-3) suffered his second straight loss, allowing four runs on six hits over six frames.
The Bulls and Mud Hens continue the series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, when LHP Enny Romero (4-10, 5.34) starts for Durham against LHP Mike Belfiore (2-5, 3.60) for Toledo.