DURHAM, NC - Behind eight strong innings from Mike Montgomery, the Durham Bulls defeated the Charlotte Knights 5-2 in the opener of a four-game set Tuesday night at the DBAP.
After giving up a two-run homer to Josh Phegley in the top of the first inning, Montgomery (4-1) settled down to earn the win, retiring 20 of the next 22 hitters he faced, while picking off a runner in the process. The southpaw finished the contest allowing two hits, walking one and striking out seven, while 59 of his 94 pitches went for strikes.
After falling behind 2-0, Jerry Sands got the Bulls on track in the second inning, crushing a two-run homer over the Blue Monster in left-centerfield. Later in the frame Vince Belnome doubled and later scored on a single by Mike Fontenot as the Bulls took a 3-2 lead.
In the fifth Durham (23-17) struck again, as Sands drove in Ray Olmedo on an RBI groundout, and Mikie Mahtook doubled down the right field line to score Kevin Kiermaier to extend the lead to 5-2.
In the ninth Jeff Beliveau picked up his second save of the season, registering two strikeouts while pitching around a walk to continue his season-long 15 1/3 inning scoreless streak with the Bulls. For Charlotte (13-25), Felipe Paulino (0-2) took the loss in his third appearance in his Major League rehab.
The series continues tomorrow when RHP Merrill Kelly (4-1, 2.09) makes the start for Durham against LHP Charlie Leesman (1-2, 1.70) for Charlotte. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.