DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls used a five-run fourth inning to power past the Toledo Mud Hens 8-2 in the first game of a three-game set Monday night at the DBAP, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process.
Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the fourth, Nick Franklin got things started for Durham (46-58) with a leadoff walk. Taylor Motter followed with a double to put runners on second and third, and JP Arencibia's ground out scored Franklin for the Bulls' first run. After a strikeout and a walk, Hank Conger blasted a three-run homer over the Blue Monster, before Jake Goebbert followed with a homer of his own for back-to-back dingers and a 5-2 lead.
The Bulls extended their lead to 6-2 in the sixth, as Casey Gillaspie singled with one out and scored a batter later when Dayron Varona laced a double to the left-center field gap. In the seventh the home side widened the gap on an RBI double by Motter and a run-scoring single from Arencibia for a six-run advantage.
The offense was enough for Jake Faria (2-2), who surrendered two runs on three hits across six innings to earn the win. Dana Eveland tossed two scoreless frames to bridge to Tyler Sturdevant, who tossed a scoreless ninth to preserve the win.
Motter and Conger led the way for Durham each finishing 2-for-4. Eight of Durham's nine starters reached base safely in the nine-hit attack, as the Bulls scored at least five runs for the sixth time in their last nine games.
Toledo (46-57) took the lead in the second inning on an RBI single by Miguel Gonzalez, and doubled its lead to 2-0 in the fourth on a leadoff homer by Steven Moya. Cory Riordan (1-2) suffered the loss by surrendering five runs on five hits in five innings.
The series continues Tuesday night at 7:05, when LHP Justin Marks (4-9, 4.03) takes the mound for Durham against RHP Buck Farmer (2-4, 5.25) for Toledo.
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