Sunday, July 12, 2009

Durham Bulls Beat Norfolk Tides 9-2

Durham Bulls[Via email from the Durham Bulls' broadcaster Neil Solondz.]

Elliot Johnson and Ray Sadler homered, as the Bulls pulled into a first-place tie with Norfolk at the All-Star Break with a 9-2 win on Sunday at Harbor Park.

Johnson's homer to right center in the third off Orioles prospect Jake Arrieta (2-3) was Durham's first hit of the day and broke a scoreless tie. Sadler's blast to start the fifth to left made it 2-0. Durham (51-39), which leads the league in homers with 92, had been without a homer for four straight games, all losses.

The Bulls then poured it on in the sixth, scoring five two-out runs to put the game out of reach. Sadler reached on a broken-bat infield hit toward third with the bases full to make it 3-0. Bases-loaded walks to Johnson and Craig Albernaz followed for a 5-0 lead, and Henry Mateo's two-run ground single to center made it 7-0.

That was more than enough for Durham's pitching staff, which went with bullpen by committee with Andy Sonnanstine sidelined due to mono. Julio DePaula worked three scoreless innings, as did Calvin Medlock (2-0). Durham helped the tandem by turning four double plays in the second through fifth innings.

Durham collected nine hits and seven walks, including two hits by Sadler and Chris Richard. The win helped Durham salvage the last of three games with Norfolk (50-38) heading into the three-day All-Star Break.

Durham continues road play on Thursday at Louisville. Reid Brignac and Dale Thayer will play in Wednesday's Triple-A All-Star Game in Portland, OR. Coverage begins at 9:40 p.m. with first pitch at 10 p.m. on 99.9 the Fan ESPN Radio.

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