Norfolk, VA. - The Durham Bulls made 2012 a distant memory after an 11-2 drubbing of the Norfolk Tides on Friday night to open the 2013 season. Right-hander Chris Archer (1-0) was outstanding for 5.0 innings of one-run baseball, en route to his first victory of the young season and Durham's bullpen was nearly flawless, allowing just one run through 4.0 innings of work. Meanwhile, the Bulls offense was piloted by five players who recorded a multiple-hit night, totaling 11 runs on 13 hits from Harbor Park.
The Bulls, who saw their scheduled season-opener washed out on Thursday night, spotted the Tides a 1-0 lead in the first before ripping off 11 unanswered runs to blow the game wide open.
Vince Belnome's RBI sacrifice fly in the second inning tied the game, then a Niuman Romero error opened the door for two more runs, giving the Bulls a lead they would never relinquish. Rich Thompson capped the frame with a head-first dive into first base to beat out a two-out bunt that brought Tim Beckham home for a 3-1 lead. Beckham reached on a single, putting runners on the corners, after perfectly executing a hit-and-run called by the manager Charlie Montoyo.
Archer wouldn't need much support thereafter. After the Bulls starter surrendered an RBI-double to former Bull, Russ Canzler in the first, he one-hit the Tides over his final 4.0 innings. The righty departed after 82 pitches, fanning five and walking just one.
Kirby Yates struck out three in his Triple-A debut, allowing just a solo homer, while Will Inman worked the final 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Between the fifth and seventh innings, Durham plated a total of eight runs. Wil Myers laced a double into the gap to score Brandon Guyer for his first RBI and hit with the Rays organization. Chris Giminez then stroked an opposite-field single to score Myers, followed by a triple to centerfield by Mike Fontenot, boosting the Bulls advantage to five runs.
Finally, in the seventh inning Hak-Ju Lee blasted a near homer that left him on third base with a triple. Lee's Triple-A debut was one to remember as the shortstop reached base three times including two stolen bases, two runs scored and some sparkling defense. He capped the Bulls scoring in the game when he crossed the plate on Guyer's double two batters later, increasing their lead to 11-1 over Norfolk.
Myers and Guyer were the only Bulls to record a multiple-RBI night, while five different Bulls had two hits in the game. Lee, Guyer and Gimenez all scored two runs a piece.
The series continues on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. ET with a doubleheader from Harbor Park between the Durham Bulls (1-0) and Norfolk Tides (0-1). Durham will start RHP Alex Colome (0-0, 0.00) against Norfolk's RHP Jair Jurrjens (0-0, 0.00) in the first game. Following a slight break between games, both teams will prepare for the second game of the night with both starters yet to be announced.