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Belnome, Nix Homer As Bulls Beat Columbus, 5-2

Karns Solid Again; Works 6 1/3 For Win
May 24, 2014

Columbus, OH -- Vince Belnome hit a tie-breaking homer in the sixth, with Jayson Nix clubbing a solo shot in the eighth to send Durham to its third straight win over Columbus 5-2 on Saturday night.

A sold-out crowd of 12,278 were silenced in the sixth when Belnome drilled a 1-1 pitch from Gabriel Arias (L, 0-1) over the right-centerfield wall for his fourth homer of the year. Belnome, who also doubled in the second inning, lifted the Bulls (29-21) to their second lead of the game. 

Karns (W, 3-2) whistled fastballs as high as 97mph in the early innings and sustained his velocity and command over a season-high 105 pitches as he earned his first win since April 18th, a six start span.

Durham took a 1-0 lead in the second when Justin Christian lifted a sacrifice fly to bring Belnome in from third. After Karns allowed a two-run homer to Jason Kipnis in the fourth, the Bulls clawed back again.

Arias, making his first Triple-A start of his career, surrendered a triple to Ray Olmedo with one out. Ali Solis brought him in on a deep flyball to left to even the game 2-2.

Belnome's homer in the seventh occurred with two outs, with Nix capping off the night with a line drive home run in the eighth against reliever Scott Barnes.

CJ Riefenhauser fanned three over his 1 2/3 innings of set-up relief before turning the mound to Kirby Yates (S, 13), who reclaimed the International League lead in saves with 13 by fanning Audy Ciriaco to end the game as the tying run.

Karns worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and two runs, striking out seven while walking two.

The Bulls shoot for the four-game sweep of the Clippers (22-25) on Sunday night at 6:05 PM ET with Mike Montgomery (4-1, 3.96) on the mound against Danny Salazar (0-1, 16.87).