DURHAM, N.C. - The Durham Bulls defeated the Toledo Mud Hens 5-2 at the DBAP Monday night, earning a split of the four-game set.
After dropping the first two games of the series, the Bulls won a wild 11-10 victory on Sunday, and followed with Monday's win which brought the team's record to 3-4 over the homestand.
Justin Christian led off the game with a double for the Bulls, and later scored on Wilson Betemit's single. Christian was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored in the game, and is now 6-for-9 with four runs and three extra-base hits in the last two games.
Catcher Ali Solis added a two-run home run to left-center in the second inning to give the Bulls (58-50) a three-run lead. Mikie Mahtook had an RBI single in the seventh, giving Durham a 4-0 lead before the Mud Hens (54-57) plated a pair in the top of the eighth. Betemit's 16th home run, a solo dinger in the eighth, capped the Bulls' scoring.
Right-hander Nathan Karns (8-5) picked up his fourth victory over his last five starts, allowing two runs on four hits over seven innings. He retired 15-of-16 batters from the second through the seventh inning, erasing the only baserunner-a walk-with a double play grounder on the very next batter. Brandon Gomes, Adam Liberatore and Josh Lueke combined for two innings of scoreless relief to preserve the win, while Duane Below (8-5) took the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) over six frames.
The Bulls travel to divisional rival Charlotte for a 7:05p.m. start on Tuesday to kick off a four-game set and eight-game road trip. RHP Merrill Kelly (6-2, 3.00) returns to the starting rotation for the Bulls, facing RHP Chris Beck (0-1, 9.64) for the Knights.