DURHAM, NC - The Norfolk Tides erased a two-run, seventh-inning deficit to defeat the Durham Bulls 9-4 in front of 9,836 fans Friday night at the DBAP, sweeping the three-game set.
Entering the seventh inning trailing 3-1, Norfolk struck for four runs for its first lead of the game. Three of the first four hitters in the inning reached via a single, walk and hit batter, before Chris Parmelee tied the game on a two-run single to centerfield. Christian Walker followed with an RBI single to right, before Steve Clevenger gave the visitors a 5-3 lead on a sacrifice fly.
In the ninth Norfolk (6-3) extended its lead, as Clevenger struck again for a two-run double, before Jayson Nix followed with an RBI single and Michael Almanzar delivered a sacrifice fly to put the Tides in front 9-3.
Durham (3-6) struck for the contest's first run in the second inning, as with two outs Alexi Casilla walked, Hak-Ju Lee singled, and Taylor Motter's double down the left field line scored Casilla. After Norfolk tied the game in the third, the Bulls plated a run in the fourth on an RBI double from Casilla. In the sixth Durham took a 3-1 lead when Motter doubled home Eugenio Velez, who had singled earlier in the frame.
In the ninth Motter continued his hot night, hitting his first Triple-A home run, but it was all Durham would muster in the 9-4 defeat.
Pedro Beato (1-0) earned the win in the relief, allowing one run in two innings. Southpaw Jim Patterson (0-1) took the loss for Durham, surrendering four runs on four hits in 1 2/3 frames. Andrew Bellatti made his second career Triple-A start for the Bulls, going four innings and allowing one run on four hits.
In his first game batting leadoff this season, Motter finished 4-for-5 with a home run, two doubles and three RBIs, while Velez went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The two teams travel north to Virginia Saturday for the first of two games at Harbor Park. LHP Scott Diamond (0-0, 0.00) goes for Durham opposite RHP Eddie Gamboa (NR) for Norfolk. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.