[Via email from the Durham Bulls' broadcaster Neil Solondz.]
Joe Bateman finished off Jeff Bennett's first win in a Bulls uniform, as Durham won its third straight on Wednesday night, 4-2 over Norfolk.
Bateman, the fourth Bulls pitcher of the night, retired the first two batters in the ninth. Freddy Guzman singled to center, stole second, and advance to third on former Bull Joey Gathright's base hit to center field. Gathright then stole second, but with the tying runs in scoring position, Justin Turner grounded back to the mound to end the game, securing Bateman’s fourth save.
Before the back-to-back base hits, Durham pitchers had retired nine in a row. The streak had started when Julio DePaula got Guzman to ground into a 4-6-3 double play with the bases loaded. That inning the Tides got their only runs on a two-run homer by former Bull Rhyne Hughes off Bennett (1-0), a lined shot into the right field bullpen.
Durham had built a 4-0 lead against David Pauley (9-11). Joe Dillon's RBI single in the first got the Bulls on the board. Durham added two runs in the fourth on a single by Ray Olmedo and a bases-loaded walk to Fernando Perez. Jon Weber added a solo homer in the fifth, his 14th, for the final Durham run.
Durham (74-58) now has won three straight and four of five on its road trip against playoff contenders. The Bulls entered play two games back of Gwinnett in the South Division race, and 3.5 games ahead of Syracuse in the wildcard hunt. Games for both clubs are not yet complete. A total of 12 games are left in the regular season.
Durham will look to continue its winning streak on Thursday as lefty Jason Cromer takes the mound against Chris George. Airtime on 99.9 the Fan ESPN Radio is at 6:55, with first pitch at 7:15.
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