The Durham Bulls opened the floodgates in the seventh inning on Thursday afternoon, scoring three runs on five straight two-out hits to defeat the Charlotte Knights 5-2 at the DBAP. Jake Odorizzi struck out eight and gave way to a strong effort from the bullpen, as Frank De Los Santos picked up his first victory of the season. Jason Bourgeois led the way offensively with three hits and two runs scored, helping the Bulls to take both games in the short two game series with the rival Knights.
Charlotte's Daniel Moskos (L, 0-1) entered the fold in the seventh inning and after retiring the first two hitters with little effort, the next five Bulls hitters were not as willing to surrender. Bourgeois smoked a two-out single, then stole second to advance into scoring position for Hak-Ju Lee who singled him home the following pitch for a 3-2 Durham lead. Wil Myers followed with a run scoring single into shallow right field for his second RBI of the afternoon. Succeeding a Leslie Anderson single, Vince Belnome blasted a double off the wall to score Brandon Guyer, who was called on to pinch run for Myers. That amplified the Bulls lead to a three run, 5-2 lead.
Bulls starter Jake Odorizzi started off slow, as he allowed the first five Charlotte hitters to reach base when he yielded three singles and two walks. However, the right-hander settled down quickly and retired the next two hitters on strikeouts. The Knights plated two in the first frame when Bryan Anderson singled home two runs. For the second day in a row, Charlotte exited the first with a 2-0 advantage over Durham.
Following a first inning RBI sacrifice fly by Myers to cut the deficit in half, Rich Thompson followed with an RBI double in the fourth to score Tim Beckham and tie the game, 2-2. Beckham reached base in his first two at-bats on singles, as he continued his torrid stretch from Wednesday night.
Odorizzi worked 5.0 innings of two-run baseball, surrendering four hits and three walks while he struck out eight batters. With the eight punchouts, Odorizzi is now second in the International League with 25, just one behind current leader and recently called up Cincinnati Reds prospect Tony Cingrani (26). Odorizzi struck out eight or more batters in each of his three career Durham Bull starts thus far.
Matt Zaleski made his second start in a week against Durham and faired quite well, working 6.0 innings of two-run ball. The righty allowed seven hits, one walk while he struck out two as he walked away with the no decision.
RHP Will Inman and LHP Frank De Los Santos combined to work 3.0 innings of scoreless baseball. Meanwhile, closer Josh Lueke (S, 3) entered the game in the ninth to collect his third save in four tries this season.
The Bulls welcome Norfolk to town for the second time in 2013, beginning a three game series on Friday night. LHP Alex Torres (1-0, 0.00) will draw the start for Durham against the Tides' RHP Josh Stinson (1-0, 0.77) for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. The Bulls will be seeking their fifth win against Norfolk this season.