A get-away game got away from the Durham Bulls in a hurry on Sunday.
Norfolk blitzed starting pitcher Nathan Karns and two relievers for nine runs over the first four innings and rolled to a 9-2 International League baseball win at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The game was delayed by 33 minutes due to the threat of severe weather as a crowd of 8,392 settled in to watch the finale of South Division-leading Durham’s 10-game homestand.
What they saw was one of the Bulls’ most-lopsided home losses of the season.
“They are the best hitting team in the league and if you pitch up in the zone they are going to make you pay that’s what happened,” Durham manager Charlie Montoyo said. “There’s no excuses. You’ve got to locate your pitches and we didn’t do that today.”
Things turned sour for Karns and the Bulls in the second inning and downright ugly in the fourth. The first four Norfolk batters reached via two hits and two walks, leading to a three-run rally that put the Tides ahead for good.
In the third inning, a lead-off single followed by three consecutive two-out hits resulted in a two-run rally and a 5-0 Tides lead.
That was it for Karns,but Norfolk wasn’t done battering Bulls pitching.
In the fourth inning, relief pitcher Braulio Lara walked the bases loaded before issuing a two-out walk to Steve Clevenger that gave Norfolk a 7-0 lead.
Doug Mathis took over and promptly allowed a bases-clearing double to Xavier Paul that gave Norfolk a 9-0 edge.
Clevenger and Paul each had three hits to pace Norfolk’s 11-hit attack. Paul drove in four runs, while Clevenger had three RBIs.
Karns (3-3) allowed six hits and five runs in his abbreviated three-inning appearance. He walked two and struck out two.
“He was behind on the count and he pitched up in the zone,” Montoyo said.
With the exception of the double that Mathis allowed that drove in three runs that were charged to Lara, the Bulls bullpen slowed down the Tides. Mathis, Jake Thompson and Adam Liberatore combined to pitch 5 ⅓ scoreless innings.
Durham’s offense, though, couldn’t mount a serious comeback.
The Bulls managed just six hits with Jayson Nix providing two of their three extra-base hits. Nix doubled and later scored on a Hak-Ju Lee double in the fifth inning and blasted a solo home run in the ninth.
Nix finished 3-for-4 and was the lone standout for an overall quiet Durham offense.
Notes -- Sunday’s game marked the end of Durham’s 10-game homestand. The Bulls went 6-4 and Sunday’s loss marked the fourth time this season they’ve failed in an attempt to reach season-best 13 games over .500...Durham and Norfolk will continue their series in Virginia with games tonight and Tuesday. Durham follows those two games with a trips to Indianapolis and Louisville. The Bulls return home on June 20 to play Syracuse.
Norfolk Tides (27-37) 9, Durham Bulls (38-27) 2
|Peguero, F, RF||5||0||0||0||0||1||3||.351|
|De Jesus, SS||4||0||2||1||1||1||2||.299|
|Phelps, C, 3B||5||0||0||0||0||1||6||.242|
|Jones, C, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|De La Cruz, Kel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Clevenger (7, Karns), Paul (9, Mathis).
TB: Lombardozzi 2; De Jesus 2; Clevenger 4; Berry; Paul 4.
RBI: Paul 4 (34), Lombardozzi (9), Clevenger 2 (13), De Jesus (28).
2-out RBI: Clevenger 2; De Jesus; Paul 3.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Borbon 3; Phelps, C; De Jesus.
Team RISP: 4-for-12.
Team LOB: 8.
SB: Berry (12, 2nd base off Karns/Casali).
DP: (De Jesus-Lombardozzi-Wallace).
|Lee, H, SS||4||0||1||1||1||2||0||.229|
|Figueroa, C, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.272|
|a-Acosta, M, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.125|
|Nix, J, 1B||4||2||3||1||0||0||0||.239|
|Lara, B, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-Struck out for Casali in the 9th.|
2B: Nix, J (7, Jones, C), Lee, H (5, Jones, C).
HR: Nix, J (2, 9th inning off Guilmet, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Olmedo; Lee, H 2; Nix, J 7; Mahtook.
RBI: Lee, H (9), Nix, J (6).
2-out RBI: Lee, H.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Christian; Figueroa, C; Belnome; Mahtook 2.
Team RISP: 1-for-8.
Team LOB: 8.
SB: Mahtook 2 (11, 2nd base off Jones, C/Clevenger, 3rd base off Jones, C/Clevenger).
E: Olmedo (5, fielding).
PB: Casali (1).
|Jones, C (W, 3-3)||5.0||3||1||1||2||4||0||4.61|
|De La Cruz, Kel||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||0||5.40|
|Karns (L, 3-3)||3.0||6||5||5||2||2||0||4.73|
Pitches-strikes: Jones, C 78-46, Huntzinger 40-24, De La Cruz, Kel 16-10, Guilmet 19-13, Karns 66-39, Lara, B 29-10, Mathis 45-29, Thompson 24-17, Liberatore 17-12.
Groundouts-flyouts: Jones, C 2-4, Huntzinger 2-0, De La Cruz, Kel 0-2, Guilmet 0-0, Karns 3-4, Lara, B 0-1, Mathis 4-0, Thompson 1-1, Liberatore 0-1.
Batters faced: Jones, C 20, Huntzinger 10, De La Cruz, Kel 3, Guilmet 4, Karns 17, Lara, B 6, Mathis 11, Thompson 6, Liberatore 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Mathis 3-3, Thompson 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Joseph Born. 1B: Jon Saphire. 3B: Ben May.
Weather: 83 degrees, overcast.
Wind: 8 mph, R to L.
T: 3:09 (:33 delay).
Venue: Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
June 8, 2014