DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls won their fourth straight game Friday night, routing the Louisville Bats 9-1 in the opener of a three-game set at the DBAP.
Louisville (53-53) took a 1-0 lead in the first as it scored just three batters in to the game, but that was the only lead the visitors would enjoy. In the third Eury Perez got things started for the Bulls with a walk, and promptly stole second base. After a strikeout and a fly out Perez swiped third, and Taylor Motter walked to put runners on the corners. Motter then pilfered second base, and on the throw across the diamond Perez came racing home to score, executing a double steal and tying the game. Richie Shaffer then ripped a single to left to score Motter as the Bulls took a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth Durham (49-58) put together a five-run outburst. Jake Goebbert scored the inning's first run on an RBI groundout by Perez, and Jake Hager joined the action with a run-scoring single for a three-run advantage. After a walk, Motter lifted a three-run homer over the Blue Monster to give the home side a six-run lead at 7-1.
Two innings later the Bulls closed the scoring when Dayron Varona blooped an RBI single to left field, and Goebbert lined a single up the middle to score Varona.
The offense was more than enough for Austin Pruitt (8-6), who picked up the victory with six innings of one-run ball. In the first inning the righty worked out of a second-and-third, no-out jam to allow just one run, and issued just three hits and one walk the rest of his outing. Robert Stephenson (6-7) suffered the loss for the visitors, allowing seven runs on four hits and six walks in 3 2/3 frames.
Shaffer reached base four times in the win, going 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and two walks, while Varona and Johnny Field each contributed two-hit games as well. Durham tallied 10 hits on the evening as seven players hit safely, while the team scored at least five runs for the fourth straight game.
The Bulls and Bats play game two of the set Saturday at 6:35 p.m. RHP Eddie Gamboa (4-3, 2.56) gets the ball for Durham, while RHP Amir Garrett (2-2, 2.35) takes the hill for Louisville.
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