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Bulls Walk Over Knights for Third Straight Win

Five-run third propels Bulls to victory
May 14, 2014

The Durham Bulls won their third straight contest Wednesday night at the DBAP, beating the Charlotte Knights 6-4.

The Bulls (24-17) scored three runs on bases loaded walks in a five-run third inning to wipe out a Charlotte lead and take a lead of their own they would not relinquish.

Durham fell behind early, as the third batter of the game, Andy Wilkins, hit a two-run homer for Charlotte (13-26) to right field. The Knights added a run in the third on a Blake Tekotte RBI double.

Trailing 3-1, the Bulls loaded the bases in the third on a walk and two singles, and Mikie Mahtook tied the score on a double up the third base line.

That's when Knights starter Charlie Leesman, the reigning IL Pitcher of the Week, had his control fail him. Leesman hit Mike Fontenot to load the bases, then proceeded to walk Curt Casali, Ray Olmedo and Hak-Ju Lee, with each base on balls bringing home a run. 

Leesman (1-3) gave up six runs on six hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings to absorb the loss.

Bulls starter Merrill Kelly was not sharp however, putting the Bulls' lead in jeopardy. After allowing Gorkys Hernandez to single in Josh Phegley with one out in the fifth, Kelly was pulled from the game two outs shy of qualifying for a win.

Left-hander Adam Liberatore (1-0) entered and earned the win after following Kelly with 2 2/3 innings of perfect relief, picking up his first victory since Aug. 29, 2013, and extending his scoreless inning streak to 14 innings. Kirby Yates worked around a single in the ninth inning to preserve the victory and notch his 11th save in 11 opportunities this season.

Game three of the four-game set is scheduled for Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. LHP Enny Romero (2-4, 5.02) starts for Durham on against LHP Chris Sale, who will be making the first appearance of his MLB rehab assignment.