DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls may have been out-hit by the visiting Norfolk Tides 12-9 Saturday night but the Bulls brought bigger sticks to the ballpark, as they clubbed six extra-base hits to the Tides three resulting in a 7-3 win at the DBAP.
9,610 fans saw the Bulls mash five doubles and a home run while defeating Norfolk for the second straight night and improving their record in the month of June to 8-2, their best start to a month this season. All the offense was more than enough support for Blake Snell and the Durham bullpen, which allowed 12 hits but limited the Tides to three runs while Norfolk went 3-19 with runners in scoring position.
As the Bulls have done frequently this season, the club jumped out to a quick lead with a pair of runs in the first inning. Johnny Field led off the frame with a double before Kean Wong reached on a bunt single that also included a throwing error by Tides second baseman Luis Sardinas which allowed Field to score. Two batters later, Mike Marjama delivered an RBI double down the right field line to put Durham ahead 2-0.
Norfolk was able to get to Snell and tie the game in the fourth, with four singles and an error by Alec Sole at shortstop allowing two runs to score for a 2-2 deadlock. The tie score didn't last long however, as the Bulls responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth to re-take the lead 4-2. Field doubled again to start the rally before eventually scoring on a wild pitch for the frame's first run, while an RBI double by Patrick Leonard brought home Wong to put Durham ahead by two.
The Bulls then broke the game open one inning later, with a two-run homer by Casey Gillaspie and an RBI base knock off the bat of Jake Bauers bringing home three runs for a 7-2 advantage. Norfolk picked up one last tally on an RBI double off the Blue Monster by Paul Janish in the eighth before relievers Diego Castillo and Yoel Espinal finished off the game for the 7-3 Durham victory.
Field led the Bulls' bats with a 3-4 game including three doubles, three runs scored, and a walk, while Gillaspie went 1-4 with his sixth homer of the year and two RBI.
Snell (4-0) earned the win and remained perfect in his return trip to Durham after holding Norfolk to two runs on eight hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts over 5.1 innings pitched. Tides starter Gabriel Ynoa (1-5) took the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits, three walks, and one strikeout during his 4.2 frames on the mound.
The Bulls (39-22) will go for the series win over the Tides (26-36) in the finale Sunday evening, with RHP Yonny Chirinos (5-0, 2.00) taking on RHP Tyler Wilson (0-4, 5.58) at 5:05 pm.
Every team wants a five-tool player. Finding future all-stars is hard, but health insurance doesn't have to be. Because Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has the tools to make using health care easy.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.