Lawrenceville, GA --- Matt Andriese utilized five double play grounders to blank the Gwinnett Braves into the eighth inning as the Durham Bulls shutout Gwinnett 7-0 in a pivotal series opener on Thursday night.
Andriese (W, 11-4), who became just the fifth pitcher in the minors to 11 wins, allowed just five singles through 7 2/3 innings en route to his fifth straight victory. Andriese received double play balls in the first, second, third, fifth and sixth innings to demoralize the Braves (44-55). Andriese, along with Syracuse's Aaron Laffey are the only 11-game winners in the International League.
With the victory, the Bulls (54-44) opened up a 10 1/2 game lead in the South over the Braves, their largest of the season.
Durham jumped out in the first inning thanks to a two-run double down the right field line by Jeremy Moore. The Bulls added two more in the fourth on singles by Wilson Betemit and Ali Solis.
In the sixth, the Bulls strung four straight singles together with Solis and Hak-Ju Lee bringing in runs for a 6-0 advantage.
Durham's 14 hits matched their second largest total of the season, while Andriese and Adam Liberatore combined on the Bulls' ninth shutout and first since June 9th at Norfolk.
Nathan Karns (6-5, 5.63) starts on Friday against Gwinnett's Kaneoka Texeira (1-1, 5.06) at 7:05 PM ET.