The Durham Bulls shut out the Norfolk Tides 3-0 on Saturday night in front of 11,536 fans at the DBAP. The paid crowd was the third largest in park history, behind this year's July Fourth crowd of 11,754, and the 11,674 that attended the July 4, 2010 game.
The full house was treated to a first pitch by Parks and Recreation star Rob Lowe, followed by an old-fashioned pitchers' duel. Jake Odorizzi (W, 9-6, 3.33) pitched 8 shutout innings, allowing four hits, walking one and striking out a personal season-high 11, matching this season's most strikeouts in a game by a Bulls pitcher. Odorizzi retired the first eight batters of the game and later set down 10 in a row.
Meanwhile, Bulls batters were struggling with the knuckleball of Norfolk starter Eddie Gamboa (L, 2-4, 4.71). Gamboa allowed just three hits in 5.1 innings. The hard-to-control knuckler was the difference in the game, however. Gamboa allowed leadoff walks in the second, fifth, and sixth innings, and all three came around to score.
Mike Fontenot doubled in Vince Belnome in the second. Fontenot then helped manufacture a run in the fifth, walking, stealing second, advancing to third on a passed ball, and scoring on Kevin Kiermaier's single.
Shelley Duncan singled in Ryan Roberts in the sixth to complete the scoring. Josh Lueke pitched the ninth for his 16th save.
The two-game series concludes on Sunday at the DBAP. LHP Mike Montgomery (7-6, 4.80) starts for the Bulls against Norfolk's LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (4-6, 4.52). First pitch is at 5:05pm.
Bulls game story brought to you by Strayer University, Bringing Home the Bulls in September.