[Via email from the Durham Bulls Director of Media Relations Matt DeMargel.]
The Bulls clinched their third-straight International League South Division Championship with a 5-1 victory over the Norfolk Tides Saturday night at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Four Durham pitchers combined to hold Norfolk to one unearned run while allowing only three hits and one walk with 12 strikeouts. Starting pitcher Rayner Oliveros (1-0) picked up his first Triple-A win with five and two-thirds innings of work, with a run on two hits, one walk and eight strikeouts.
The Bulls got on the board first in the third inning with a single from Henry mateo scoring Elliot Johnson from second. They added two more in the fourth as Johnson and Michel Hernandez both laced back-to-back RBI singles to make the score 3-0.
Norfolk platted its first and only run in the sixth inning. After Dave Krynzel stole second and advanced to third on a missed-catch error by Johnson, Justin Turner plated him with a sacrifice fly to center field, cutting Durham’s lead to 3-1.
The Bulls added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded, Hernandez hit a single up the middle to drive in two runs, capping Durham’s 5-1 victory.
With the Bulls win and Gwinnett’s 10-1 loss to Charlotte, the Bulls clinched the division and will face Louisville in the first round of the Governor’s Cup Playoffs. This is Durham’s eighth division title in its 12 years of Triple-A ball.
There are still two more games left in the regular season, both against the Tides. The next one comes Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m.