DURHAM, NC - Chris Archer, Adam Liberatore and Dane De La Rosa combined for a 3-hit, 2-0 shutout victory in Wednesday's series opener against the Norfolk Tides. Durham was held to just one hit, but still managed to win their second straight.
Norfolk's Jake Arrieta (L, 3-4, 4.91) was throwing a one hitter with seven strikeouts until he inexplicably lost control in the bottom of the sixth inning. Arrietta walked the first three batters to start the bottom of the frame before Chris Gimenez stepped to the plate. Gimenez, who was the lone Bull to have a hit against Arrieta, drew a fourth straight walk to force in the first run of the night. Frazzled, Arrietta threw a wild pitch during the following Leslie Anderson at bat, allowing the Bulls to double their lead.
Chris Archer (W, 7-9, 3.79) was brilliant on Wednesday night. Making his first start at home since August 7, Archer tossed six and a third innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits. He struck out eight Tides, improving his season total to 132. That places the Clayton, NC in rare company, moving him to fifth all-time on the Bulls Triple-A single-season strikeout list. He surpassed rehabbing Rays starter Jeff Niemann, who was fifth with 128.
The Rays top pitching prospect allowed a leadoff walk to start the seventh before Charlie Montoyo brought in the Adam Liberatore to close out the inning. Liberatore continued the Bulls dominance and tossed 1.2 IP with two more strikeouts. He paved the way for Dane De La Rosa who came in for his second save in as many nights. De La Rosa finished the job and earned his 17th save of the season, adding the 11th and 12th strikeouts of the night.
The Tides and Bulls are back at on Thursday night at 7:05pm. RHP Zach Petersime (0-1, 2.25) will take on RHP Jim Paduch (5-9, 5.68). The Bulls will welcome Olympic medalists and Duke student-athletes Abby Johnston and Nick McCrory, who will throw out ceremonial first pitches before the game.