NORFOLK, VA - The Durham Bulls won their season-high seventh straight game Wednesday afternoon at Harbor Park, defeating the Norfolk Tides 8-4.
The Bulls, who trailed 2-0 through the first three innings, first got on the scoreboard behind a solo homer from Joey Butler in the fourth that made it a one-run game. The Tides (73-58) plated a pair of unearned runs in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead into the sixth inning.
Durham (66-66), which reached the .500 mark for the first time since July 26, started its comeback in the sixth though when Butler launched a two-run homer to right-centerfield after Taylor Motter had walked to cut the lead to one. In the seventh Durham took the lead for good, as Mikie Mahtook delivered a two-run double to leftfield that scored Hak-Ju Lee and Nick Franklin for a 5-4 advantage.
In the ninth the visitors tacked on some insurance, scoring three times behind a sacrifice fly by Motter and a two-run double off the bat of Richie Shaffer for an 8-4 lead.
Righty Bradin Hagens (3-5) won his second straight start, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits over 6 2/3 innings, his longest outing with Durham this season. Southpaw Robert Zarate tossed an inning of scoreless relief, before Jhan Mariñez picked up his third save of the season by recording the contest's final four outs. Richard Rodriguez (1-3) suffered the loss in relief for Norfolk, surrendering two runs on three hits in two innings.
Butler led Durham's 12-hit attack, finishing 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, tallying his third career multi-home run game. Mahtook went 4-for-5 out of the leadoff spot, while Lee, Joey Rickard and Luke Maile all singled and scored.
Durham returns home on Thursday to kick off a six-game homestand, and the first of four games against the Charlotte Knights. LHP Scott Diamond (10-5, 3.75) will go for Durham opposite RHP Kyle Drabek (7-8, 3.36) for Charlotte. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.