DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls won their eighth straight game Thursday night, defeating the Charlotte Knights 5-4 in the first game of a four-game set at the DBAP.
Trailing 4-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, Durham (67-66) rallied for three runs to take the lead. Richie Shaffer walked to lead off the frame, before Jake Elmore and Corey Brown knocked back-to-back singles to load the bases. Shaffer scored on a wild pitch to bring the deficit to one, and after a strikeout Luke Maile delivered a two-run single to right-centerfield for a 5-4 lead.
The Knights (69-64) scored the game's first run on an RBI single by Matt Davidson in the first inning. The Bulls countered with a pair in the bottom of the third on a two-run double by Mikie Mahtook, before Charlotte tacked on a run in the fourth and a pair in the fifth to take a two-run lead.
Lefty CJ Riefenhauser (4-2) earned the win with 1 1/3 scoreless frames out of the bullpen, while Jim Miller picked up his fourth save of the campaign with a perfect ninth inning. Right-hander Kyle Drabek (7-9) took the loss for the visitors, allowing five runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 frames, exiting after Maile's go-ahead single.
Brown finished the evening 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Ryan Brett tallied two hits as well while Durham won eight straight games for the first time since July of 2013.
The two teams are back at it Friday when Durham sends LHP Matt Moore (2-2, 3.71) to the mound against RHP Brad Penny (6-8, 4.18) for Charlotte. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at the DBAP.