DURHAM, NC - The Durham Bulls won their eighth game in nine tries, defeating the Norfolk Tides 3-2 Thursday night behind RHP Merrill Kelly.
Kelly (3-0), became the Bulls first three-game winner of the season behind six innings of two-run ball, surrendering both runs in the second frame before settling down to retire 11 straight. RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo followed with a scoreless seventh inning, before RHP Kirby Yates tossed the final two frames without allowing a run to pick up his fifth save in as many tries this season.
Durham (11-4), took a 2-0 lead after just one inning behind four singles, the last of which was a two-run single off the bat of Jerry Sands. Norfolk (4-10) countered in the top of the second though, scoring two runs of their own on a single from Alexi Casilla, before Kelly and the bullpen shut them down the rest of the way.
The Bulls took the lead for good in the sixth frame, when Sands scored all the way from second base when Mike Fontenot lined a pitch to second that got by Jemile Weeks, as Weeks was charged with an error.
LHP TJ McFarland (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking two.
The two teams travel north to Harbor Park for a four-game set over the holiday weekend. The series kicks off Friday night at 7:05 p.m. when RHP Nathan Karns (1-1, 8.76) squares off against RHP Suk-min Yoon (0-2, 16.20) for the Tides.