The first place Durham Bulls won their fourth straight game with a 5-1 victory over the Charlotte Knights at the DBAP on Wednesday. With their third consecutive win over Charlotte, Durham will maintain at least an 8.5 game lead over Norfolk in the IL South.
Tim Beckham put the Bulls on top early, hitting a solo homer to left center in the first inning. It was the second home run of the year for Beckham and his first since May 15.
The Bulls added another run in the second inning, when Leslie Anderson and Shelley Duncan led off with singles, and Mike Fontenot's sacrifice fly brought in Anderson.
Jake Odorizzi (W, 7-2, 3.20) pitched out of trouble, facing 11 batters with the tying run on base or at the plate in 6 innings, but he allowed just 2 hits and 0 earned runs. An error by Odorizzi on a bunt led to an unearned run in the sixth that cut the Bulls' lead to 2-1.
The Bulls broke the game open in the bottom of the seventh. Fontenot hit a leadoff double, and Evan Frey put runners on the corners with a bunt single. Jesus Flores then ended an 0-for-16 slump with a three-run home run to left field that just missed the Snorting Bull. It was Flores' second Bulls' home run and first in exactly a month.
Steve Geltz, Adam Liberatore, and Josh Lueke continued a strong stretch for the Durham bullpen, with each throwing a scoreless inning and combining for 6 strikeouts. Charlotte's Jason Berken (L, 7-9, 3.89) took the loss.
The Bulls and Knights finish their two-game series at the DBAP on Thursday at 7:05pm. LHP Mike Montgomery (4-3, 3.62) starts for Durham against Charlotte's RHP Zach Stewart (5-10, 4.99).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.