CHARLOTTE, NC - After trailing 5-1 through two innings, the Durham Bulls rallied for a 12-8 victory over the Charlotte Knights Tuesday night at BB&T Ballpark.
The Bulls' offense, which had scored just 12 runs all season entering the contest, erupted for 17 hits as every starter had at least one hit, and seven players finished with multi-hit games. Making his first career start in center field, Ryan Brett finished 3-for-6 with three runs scored, finishing a triple short of the cycle, while DH Corey Brown went 2-for-5 with a grand slam and 5 RBIs.
Durham (3-3) led 1-0 after a half inning, but Charlotte countered with four runs in the bottom of the first off reigning IL Pitcher of the Week Dylan Floro. The Knights tacked on a run in the second for a 5-1 lead, but the Bulls came back with four of their own in the third. Brett led off the frame with a solo homer, and Vince Belnome and Jake Elmore followed with singles. Joey Butler doubled them each home, before later scoring on an RBI single from Brown to tie the contest.
In the fourth the Bulls took the lead for good behind a run-scoring double from Hak-Ju Lee. Then in the sixth the visitors struck for another four-spot, when Brown's grand slam plated Brett, Belnome and Elmore.
The Knights (3-3) scored a pair of unearned runs in the sixth to close the gap to 10-7, before Luke Maile launched his first Triple-A home run, a two-run dinger, in the eighth as the Bulls regained a five-run lead.
Charlotte tacked on another unearned run in the eighth to cut the deficit to 12-8, but it was all the home side could muster as it split the two-game set with Durham.
Floro (2-0) earned the victory, despite allowing five runs on 10 hits in five innings of work, while right-hander Brad Penny (1-1) took the loss by surrendering six runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 frames. Durham reliever Jim Miller allowed three unearned runs in 2 1/3 innings, before southpaw Jordan Norberto closed the affair by notching the final five outs.
The Bulls return to Durham Wednesday for their 2015 home-opener against the Norfolk Tides at 6:05 p.m. LHP Everett Teaford (0-0, 0.00) goes for Durham opposite RHP Mike Wright (0-0, 7.36) for Norfolk.