DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls churned out 16 hits and held the Louisville Bats to just three in a 10-1 victory in the opener of a three-game set Friday night at the DBAP.
Durham's offense got things going in the very first inning, scoring five runs when they sent 10 men to the plate. Mikie Mahtook and Joey Rickard kicked things off with back-to-back singles, before Taylor Motter's double down the leftfield line scored Mahtook. JP Arencibia then doubled home a pair for a 3-0 lead, before Corey Brown followed with a walk. After a strikeout, Jake Elmore singled to load the bases, before Hak-Ju Lee walked to drive in a run and Luke Maile delivered a sacrifice fly for a 5-0 lead.
After the Bats (57-58) plated a run in the fifth to cut the deficit to four, Durham countered with a run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Joey Rickard.
In the sixth the Bulls (55-58) continued the onslaught, scoring four more times. Nick Franklin doubled home Brown with nobody out, and after Maile walked, Mahtook unloaded a three-run homer to centerfield to make it a 10-1 ballgame.
All the offense backed a superb outing from southpaw Matt Moore (1-2), who picked up the victory by allowing one run on two hits over six innings, striking out seven and walking one. After his departure, Andrew Bellatti, Bradin Hagens and Jose Dominguez each tossed a scoreless inning of relief as the Bulls won back-to-back games for the first time since early July. Robert Stephenson (4-1) suffered his first career Triple-A loss, allowing five runs on eight hits over four innings of work.
At the dish Rickard and Motter led the way, each tying a career-high with four hits. For the second straight night every batter in Durham's lineup reached base safely, while the nine-run victory was the team's largest of the season.
The series continues Saturday, when the Bulls send RHP Matt Andriese (3-2, 2.33) to the hill against LHP John Lamb (0-1, 3.27) for the Bats. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.