(Norfolk, VA) Joe Dillon's sixth inning double broke a 1-1 tie, and Durham held on in the ninth for a 3-2 win over Norfolk, as the Bulls split their first series of the season on Sunday afternoon.
Dillon doubled to left off Ross Wolf, the first batter he faced after lefty starter Troy Patton issued a pair of one-out walks. Two batters later Angel Chavez followed with his second sac fly of the game for a 3-1 advantage.
That put Virgil Vasquez (1-0) on the winning side of the ledger in his first appearance in the Rays organization. Vasquez, acquired from the Pirates at the end of Spring Training, allowed four hits and a run over 5.2 innings. Joaquin Benoit and Winston Abreu followed with 2.1 perfect innings before the Tides rallied against Dale Thayer (2 saves).
Thayer got to two strikes on the first two batters, Luis Montanez and Scott Moore, but both singled. A pair of groundouts put runners at the corners with two away. Michael Aubrey then singled to center to cut the Durham lead to 3-2. Rhyne Hughes, a former Bull, then walked, loading the bases. Thayer bounced back to strike out number nine hitter Adam Donachie to end the game and even Durham's record at 2-2.
Durham collected just four hits. Dillon had a pair of doubles, and Chavez a triple to go with two sac flies. The Bulls are in Georgia to meet Gwinnett on Monday at 7:05. Air time on 620 the Buzz is at 6:50. Carlos Hernandez starts against Jonny Venters in a match-up of lefties.
-- Via email from Neil Solondz.