The Durham Bulls won for the ninth time in 11 games by taking a 5-2 win over the Norfolk Tides on Friday night at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Jake Bauers hit his seventh home run of the season with a two-run shot to put the Bulls ahead for good in the sixth inning. He also drove in the Bulls’ first run in the bottom of the first with a sacrifice fly and had a stolen base in the fourth inning. In the seventh inning, he made a great play in left field as he hauled in a fly ball just short of the video wall portion of the Blue Monster.
“I was having fun out there,” Bauers said.
Bulls starter Ryan Yarbrough went eight innings and improved to 5-3 with a strong outing that saw only one rough inning. He finished with nine strikeouts and allowed five hits.
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“Those are the days you look for,” Yarbrough said. “Going deep is what you’re trying to do. You want to go as long as you can. I was working on some things and they paid off tonight.”
Norfolks’s Craig Gentry hit his first home of the season, a two-run shot, to the deepest part of the DBAP to push the Tides ahead 2-1 in the top of the sixth. Until then, Yarbrough seemed to be on in command of the game after striking out six and allowing two hits until then. Three batters after Gentry’s homer, David Washington followed with a double but he was left stranded when Sharlon Schoop struck out to end the inning.
Bauers, who was 1-for-2, came back in the bottom half and put the Bulls back ahead when he slapped a two-run homer over the fence in right center to make it 3-2. The Bulls then added two more to make it 5-2 and chased Norfolk starter Jayson Aquino as Curt Casali doubled in Patrick Leonard and Mike Majama, who each had singled.
Johnny Field was 2-for-4 with a double and Patrick Leonord was 2-for-4, while Curt Casali added a double for the Bulls. Adam Kolarek earned his second save after pitching the ninth.
The teams return to action on Saurday (6:35 p.m., WDNC-AM 620) with the Bulls sending out Blake Snell (3-0, 2.39).