Norfolk, VA --- Chris Archer retired the first 14 batters while Durham grinded out just enough offense to knock off first place Norfolk 3-2 on Tuesday night at Harbor Park.
The Bulls (27-18) went just 2-18 with runners in scoring position, stranding 12, but were able to edge the Tides for the second time in three games, pulling to within three games in the South Division.
Meanwhile, Archer (W, 5-2) became the third International League pitcher to five wins, no-hitting the Tides until Brandon Wood led off the sixth with a solo home run. Archer's perfect game was spoiled on a two-out walk in the fifth.
By that time, the Bulls had moved ahead 2-0 in the top of the fifth. Three straight singles knocked Tsuyoshi Wada (L, 0-1) out of the game. Chris Jones relieved and allowed a sac fly to Wil Myers and an RBI-single by Shelley Duncan.
Leading 2-1 in the seventh, the Bulls reclaimed a two-run lead. Jason Bourgeois drew a walk, then scored on a Vince Belnome double to left.
Norfolk cut it to a one-run game in the last of the seventh against reliever Cory Wade, but left the tying run at third base.
Kirby Yates (S, 2) recorded a four-out save for the Bulls, stranding the tying and winning runs aboard in the ninth when Chris Robinson sailed out near the left field warning track.
Archer worked six innings, allowing three hits and a walk, fanning six.
Rich Thompson, Mike Fontenot, Belnome and Bourgeois each had two hits for the Bulls.
The home and home series concludes Wednesday night from Harbor Park with Alex Torres (2-2, 2.39) starting against Josh Stinson (2-1, 3.68).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.