DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls built an early lead and held off a late rally, defeating the Toledo Mud Hens 5-4 Tuesday night at the DBAP in the opener of a three-game set. Arturo Reyes (4-2) recorded the victory for the Bulls, while Tyler Alexander (1-8) suffered the loss for the Mud Hens.
First on the board were the Mud Hens, thanks to an RBI double by Victor Reyes to make it 1-0 in the first inning. However, the Bulls used the long ball to their advantage, immediately responding in the bottom of the first with a two-run home run by Nate Lowe to make it 2-1.
The Bulls kept adding on to the lead, beginning with a solo home run from Jake Smolinski to extend the lead to 3-1 in the second. Dalton Kelly drove in one more on an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth, and Brendan McKay hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth to extend the lead to 5-1.
However, the Mud Hens made a comeback attempt in the top of the seventh inning. Jake Rogers hit a solo home run to start the inning to make it 5-2. After loading the bases, the Mud Hens drove in a run on an infield single by Willi Castro to shrink the deficit to two. Despite the go-ahead run coming to the plate, Hunter Wood induced a key groundout to end the inning.
The trouble wasn't over for the Bulls, with a solo home run by Mikie Mahtook in the top of the eighth inning to make it 5-4. However, relievers Hoby Milner and Andrew Kittredge were able to shut the game down by getting the final five outs without issue.
The Bulls will play game two of the three-game series against the Mud Hens on Wednesday night at 7:05 at the DBAP. The game is part of a six-game homestand that features a visit from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.