DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls used a five-run fourth inning to power past the Toledo Mud Hens 8-2 in the first game of a three-game set Monday night at the DBAP, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process.
Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the fourth, Nick Franklin got things started for Durham (46-58) with a leadoff walk. Taylor Motter followed with a double to put runners on second and third, and JP Arencibia's ground out scored Franklin for the Bulls' first run. After a strikeout and a walk, Hank Conger blasted a three-run homer over the Blue Monster, before Jake Goebbert followed with a homer of his own for back-to-back dingers and a 5-2 lead.
The Bulls extended their lead to 6-2 in the sixth, as Casey Gillaspie singled with one out and scored a batter later when Dayron Varona laced a double to the left-center field gap. In the seventh the home side widened the gap on an RBI double by Motter and a run-scoring single from Arencibia for a six-run advantage.
The offense was enough for Jake Faria (2-2), who surrendered two runs on three hits across six innings to earn the win. Dana Eveland tossed two scoreless frames to bridge to Tyler Sturdevant, who tossed a scoreless ninth to preserve the win.
Motter and Conger led the way for Durham each finishing 2-for-4. Eight of Durham's nine starters reached base safely in the nine-hit attack, as the Bulls scored at least five runs for the sixth time in their last nine games.
Toledo (46-57) took the lead in the second inning on an RBI single by Miguel Gonzalez, and doubled its lead to 2-0 in the fourth on a leadoff homer by Steven Moya. Cory Riordan (1-2) suffered the loss by surrendering five runs on five hits in five innings.
The series continues Tuesday night at 7:05, when LHP Justin Marks (4-9, 4.03) takes the mound for Durham against RHP Buck Farmer (2-4, 5.25) for Toledo.
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.