DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls pounded out a season-high in runs and hits Wednesday night at the DBAP, cruising to a 17-2 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens in the first game of a three-game set.
Durham (60-66) got on the board from the very beginning, scoring four in the first frame by sending 10 men to the plate. Boog Powell got things started with a leadoff bunt single, and scored two batters later when Taylor Motter launched a two-run dinger over the Blue Monster. After Richie Shaffer singled and JP Arencibia and Mikie Mahtook walked, Hak-Ju Lee drove in a pair with a single to rightfield to open an early 4-0 lead.
In the second the Bulls tacked on another, as Motter drew a one-out walk, and scored two batters later when Arencibia doubled to deep centerfield. In the third Durham continued to pour it on, as Nick Franklin hit a three-run homer that cleared the Blue Monster for an 8-1 lead.
The Mud Hens (51-73) finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth when Daniel Fields led off the frame with a solo homer to leftfield. The home side stormed back in the bottom of the inning though, as Shaffer hit a solo dinger, Ryan Brett delivered a sacrifice fly, and Powell drove in a pair with a two-out triple to increase the lead to 12-1. In the fifth Mahtook struck for a two-run double, giving Durham a 13-run advantage.
In the bottom of the eighth Shaffer closed the scoring for Durham, blasting his second homer of the game - a three-run shot - over the Blue Monster for a 17-1 lead. Steven Moya cracked a solo homer in the top of the ninth for the Mud Hens' second run of the contest.
Southpaw Blake Snell (4-2) turned in a strong outing for the Bulls, earning the win by allowing just one run on one hit over five innings, striking out seven and walking two. Thad Weber (6-10) took the loss, surrendering eight runs on nine hits over just three innings of work.
Durham's 17 runs was its highest output since an 18-3 victory at Charlotte on Aug. 2, 2011, while the team tallied 20 hits for the first time since June 21, 2012 in a 14-8 victory at Rochester. Every Durham starter finished with at least one hit and one run scored, while eight players concluded the game with two hits or more. Shaffer led the way, going 3-for-5 and tying two career-highs by scoring four times and driving in four.
The series continues Thursday when Durham sends RHP Bradin Hagens (1-5, 3.38) to the hill against LHP Kyle Lobstein (0-1, 7.71) for Toledo. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.