[Via email from the Durham Bulls' broadcaster Neil Solondz.]
Rhyne Hughes' two-out two-run single in the eighth got Durham within a run, but the Bulls fell out of first with a 4-3 loss Saturday night to Norfolk.
Durham (50-39), down 4-0 after six innings, rallied with a run in the seventh when Hughes and Henry Mateo doubled off Jim Miller. In the eighth Chris Richard doubled and John Jaso walked against Miller. Josh Perrault wild pitched the runners to second and third before Hughes singled to right to the cut the deficit to one. Hughes, 3-for-4, highlighted a 12-hit attack.
Durham had a chance to tie the game in the ninth. Brandon Snyder robbed Mateo of an extra-base hit with a diving grab near the first base bag. Reid Brignac doubled to left-center, but Matt Joyce grounded to third, and Perrault fanned Justin Ruggiano for his first Triple-A save. Durham finished the game 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Norfolk (50-37) scored single runs in the third and fourth against Carlos Hernandez (5-5). A leadoff walk led to the first run, and an errant pickoff attempt led to the second run (unearned). Norfolk tacked on two more against John Meloan in the sixth on Brandon Snyder's first Triple-A homer, a two-run wind-blown fly ball to left.
Durham has lost four straight games, all by one or two runs, and now trails Norfolk by one game with a single contest left with the Tides before the All-Star break. Because Andy Sonnanstine has mono, Durham will use its bullpen to work through Sunday's game. Jake Arrieta will start for Norfolk at 1:15. Coverage on 99.9 the Fan ESPN Radio begins at 12:55.