[Via email from the Durham Bulls Director of Media Relations Matt DeMargel.]
Behind the red-hot bat of first basemen Rhyne Hughes, the Bulls overcame a three-run deficit to win 5-3 over Norfolk Sunday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Hughes went 3-4 with a single, a double, a homer and two RBI including the go-ahead run in the sixth. The 25-year-old, who made his Triple-A debut in early June, has now gone 9 for his last 15 at bats including four doubles. Hughes is the lone Bull batting over .300 with a .310 average.
Norfolk jumped ahead first in the second inning with an RBI-single from catcher Chad Moeller off of Bulls starter Jason Cromer for an early 1-0 lead. The Tides added two more in the fourth with two, RBI-doubles making the score 3-0.
That would be all Cromer (4-2) would allow as he kept Norfolk scoreless over the next three frames ending the day with seven total innings of work under his belt. He allowed three runs (two earned) on 11 hits with no walks and four strikeouts to pick up the win.
The Bulls began their comeback in the bottom of the fourth inning with an RBI-single from Jon Weber to make the score 3-1.
Durham tied it up in the fifth at 3-3 with Hughes’s solo shot to deep right to began the inning and a sacrifice fly RBI from Matt Joyce, scoring Ray Olmedo from third. Joyce ended the day 2-3, with two doubles and two RBI.
The Bulls then took the lead in the sixth with Hughes’ double to right-center driving in John Jaso from second. They then added an insurance run in the seventh with back-to-back doubles from Reid Brignac and Joyce with the latter scoring Brignac from second making the score 5-3.
Durham’s bullpen shutout Norfolk in the final two frames. Jorge Julio came on in the sixth and after allowing a hit to start the inning, he proceeded to retire the next three batters faced. Jason Childers came in to close the game in the ninth and retired the side in order to pick up his third save in as many days.
With the win, the Bulls increased their lead over Norfolk to one and a half games in the IL South Division. Gwinnett overtook Norfolk for second place in the division with a 5-1 victory over Lehigh Valley and are now a half game behind Durham.
The Bulls close out their five-game, four-day series with Norfolk tomorrow with right-handed pitcher Wade Davis (8-6) taking the mound against Norfolk’s righty David Pauley (7-8). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.