DURHAM, N.C. - The Durham Bulls dropped both ends of a modified doubleheader Sunday evening at the DBAP, falling in game one 4-3 before dropping the second game 9-6.
In front of 11,104 fans, the seventh-largest crowd in DBAP history, the Bulls set an all-time franchise record for highest paid attendance in a single season, surpassing the 2007 mark of 520,952 fans.
Game one, a completion of a suspended game from Saturday night in Norfolk, resumed in the top of the seventh inning with Durham trailing 4-1. Nick Franklin delivered a two-run single to cut the deficit to one but the Bulls went silent the rest of the way, falling by a 4-3 final.
Lefty Chris Jones (8-8) earned the win, allowing three runs (one earned) over 6 1/3 innings, while Evan Meek picked up his 16th save of the campaign with a perfect ninth. Right-hander Matt Andriese (11-8) suffered the loss, surrendering four runs on nine hits over six innings.
Game two proved to be a back-and-forth battle, as the Tides (65-78) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Durham (74-69) countered in the bottom of the frame though, scoring four runs, three of which came on a home run off the bat of Jeremy Moore.
The Bulls added a run in the second on a solo homer by Hak-Ju Lee, before the Tides scored a pair in the top of the third to cut the deficit to 5-4. Norfolk threatened to plate more, but the Bulls turned a triple play to escape the jam. With runners on second and third with no one out, Michael Almanzar hit a grounder to third. Mike Fontenot fielded the ball cleanly and stepped on the bag, whipped the ball to second baseman Nick Franklin for out number two, before the middle infielder relayed the ball to a stretching Vince Belnome for the Bulls' second triple play in as many seasons.
In the bottom of third Durham struck again, as Belnome came around to score on an error for a 6-4 advantage. That score held until the fifth, when Norfolk erupted for four runs behind four hits to take their second lead of the game at 8-6.
The Tides kept the Bulls scoreless the rest of the way, while scoring an insurance run in the eighth frame for a 9-6 lead.
Suk-min Yoon (4-8) earned the victory, despite allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits in five frames, while Robert Coello picked up his sixth save with a perfect ninth. Nathan Karns (9-9) lost for fourth time in his last five starts, surrendering eight runs (seven earned) while tying a career-high by allowing 11 hits.
Belnome and Justin Christian led the offensive charge for Durham, each finishing with a 3-for-5 night.
The Bulls and Tides conclude the regular season Monday at 1:05 p.m. Durham sends RHP Doug Mathis (2-3, 3.66) to the hill opposite RHP Tyler Wilson (4-2, 3.23) for Norfolk.