DURHAM, NC - The first-place Durham Bulls ended their longest homestand of the season with a 9-2 loss to the Norfolk Tides Sunday evening at the DBAP.
The loss dropped the Bulls to 6-4 on the 10-game homestand and earned the Tides a split of the two-game series in Durham.
Bulls starter Nathan Karns (3-3) struggled from the outset, giving up five runs on six hits and two walks in three innings, his shortest outing since April 23rd when he last just two innings against Charlotte. Two hits and two walks led to three runs in the second inning, and then four hits in the third inning led to a pair of runs to chase Karns.
The bullpen couldn't keep the Bulls close either, as Braulio Lara walked four of the six batters he faced after entering in the fourth, and the first batter Doug Mathis faced hit a bases-clearing three-run double as the Tides (27-37) built a 9-0 lead after four innings.
The Bulls (38-27) managed just one hit in the first four innings as spot starter Chris Jones (3-3) won his first start of the season, lasting five innings and allowing just one run on three hits.
The Bulls got their first run of the game when Jayson Nix doubled, and Hak-Ju Lee doubled him home in the fifth. Nix added a solo homer in the ninth to close the scoring.
Durham now hits the road for a season-long 10-game road trip, beginning in Norfolk on Monday. LHP Mike Montgomery (6-1, 3.71) starts for the Bulls against RHP Edgmer Escalona (1-0, 4.50) for the Tides, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. from Harbor Park.