Durham plated two runs with two out in the ninth inning to top the Tides 5-4 Wednesday night at Harbor Park.
Norfolk led the contest 4-3 entering the final frame, but the Bulls rallied against Luis Gonzalez (0-2). Jake Cronenworth started the comeback with a one-out single before moving to second on a walk to Nate Lowe. After a popout, Christian Arroyo sliced an opposite-field double just inside the right field line, plating a pair of runs to give the Bulls a 5-4 advantage.
Former Tide Oliver Drake made the lead hold up, as he struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to earn his first save of the season and snap Norfolk's three-game winning streak.
Anderson Feliz paced Norfolk's seven-hit attack with three singles, an RBI and a run scored. Zach Vincej added a run-scoring single, while Ryan Mountcastle contributed a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.
Mike Franco (2-0) earned the win for Durham with two shutout innings of relief.
Norfolk starter Luis Ortiz did not factor in the decision after allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits over 4.1 innings of work. Ortiz, ranked as the #19 prospect in the Orioles system per MLB.com, struggled with his control, issuing four walks and striking out two while throwing 49 of his 91 pitches for strikes. Through three starts this season, the 23-year-old right-hander now owns a 4.76 ERA.
Luis Ysla was tremendous in back of Ortiz, as the left-hander struck out seven over 3.2 shutout innings of relief. The seven strikeouts as a reliever were one shy of his career-high, last set with Class-A San Jose during the 2015 campaign.
The Tides will look to capture their first series victory of the season on Thursday afternoon at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 12:05. Keegan Akin (0-0, 3.00) is set to start for Norfolk and will be opposed by Durham right-hander Aaron Slegers (0-0, 7.27).
Notes: Durham designated hitter Nate Lowe was born in Norfolk before playing his high school baseball in Marietta, GA…With a single Wednesday, DJ Stewart has reached safely in 11 of the 13 games he's appeared in this season, posting a .393 on-base percentage…After entering play ranked third in the IL with a .311 average with runners in scoring position, Norfolk went 2-for-6 with RISP…The loss was Norfolk's second this season when leading after eight innings, matching their entire 2018 season total.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.