COLUMBUS, OHIO - Behind seven shutout innings from Mike Montgomery, the Durham Bulls defeated the Columbus Clippers 5-1 Sunday evening at Huntington Park, earning a sweep of the four-game set.
The reigning International League Pitcher of the Week, Montgomery (6-1) was superb again as he struck out eight and allowed just two hits and one walk to win his third straight start. Lefty Adam Liberatore tossed a perfect eighth inning before the Clippers scored their lone run in the ninth.
The game was scoreless through the first two frames before Durham (30-21) struck in the third inning. With one out Mike Fontenot singled and Jayson Nix reached on an error before Mikie Mahtook cracked a three-run homer over the centerfield wall.
In the seventh the Bulls extended their lead as Mahtook struck again, doubling home Nix before scoring himself on a single by Jerry Sands to take a 5-0 lead. Mahtook finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Justin Christian and Hak-Ju Lee chipped in two hits apiece.
Right-hander Danny Salazar (0-1) took the loss for the Clippers (22-26), surrendering three runs (two earned) over 5 1/3 innings despite striking out nine.
The sweep marked the first time the Bulls had swept a four-game road series since August of 2011 against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, and the first time they had won a series in Columbus since the 2009 campaign.
The Bulls continue their eight-game road trip Monday with the opener of a four-game set against the Toledo Mud Hens. RHP Alex Colome is scheduled to make his first start of the season for the Bulls, while the Mud Hens send RHP Drew VerHagen (2-4, 3.86) to the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.