DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls received a sterling effort from starting pitcher Josh Fleming en route to a 4-2 victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Friday night at the DBAP. The victory gave the Bulls a commanding 2-0 lead in the Best-Of-5 Governors' Cup First Round playoff series.
Fleming turned in a dominating performance, earning the win by tossing 8.0 shutout innings, striking out five, surrendering five hits and walking just one. The southpaw threw 108 pitches on the evening, with 70 going for strikes.
Durham's offense did all its work in the second inning, as Nathan Lukes crushed a two-run homer into the right field seats to give the home side a 2-0 lead. After Rocky Gale followed with a single, Jake Cronenworth launched a two-run shot to right-center field, putting the Bulls ahead by four.
The RailRiders finally got on the board in the ninth, as Kyle Higashioka knocked a leadoff homer and Zach Zehner lined an RBI single. That was as close as Scranton/WB would get though, propelling the Bulls to one win away from a third straight appearance in the Governors' Cup Finals.
Michael King took the loss for the visitors, allowing four runs on six hits over five innings.
The Bulls and RailRiders continue their series Saturday at 6:35 p.m. at PNC Field in Moosic, Penn. Blake Snell, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, is scheduled to make a rehab start for Durham opposite Nick Nelson for Scranton/WB.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.