Bulls sweep Clippers
Behind seven shutout innings from Mike Montgomery, the Durham Bulls defeated the Columbus Clippers 5-1 Sunday evening at Huntington Park, earning a sweep of the four-game set.
The reigning International League Pitcher of the Week, Montgomery (6-1) was superb again as he struck out eight and allowed just two hits and one walk to win his third straight start. Lefty Adam Liberatore tossed a perfect eighth inning before the Clippers scored their lone run in the ninth.
The game was scoreless through the first two frames before Durham (30-21) struck in the third inning. With one out Mike Fontenot singled and Jayson Nix reached on an error before Mikie Mahtook cracked a three-run homer over the center-field wall.
In the seventh the Bulls extended their lead as Mahtook struck again, doubling home Nix before scoring himself on a single by Jerry Sands to take a 5-0 lead. Mahtook finished 3 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Justin Christian and Hak-Ju Lee chipped in two hits apiece.
Right-hander Danny Salazar (0-1) took the loss for the Clippers (22-26), surrendering three runs (two earned) over 5 1/3 innings despite striking out nine.
The sweep marked the first time the Bulls had swept a four-game road series since August of 2011 against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, and the first time they had won a series in Columbus since the 2009 campaign.
NOTES — The Bulls continue their eight-game road trip today with the opener of a four-game set against the Toledo Mud Hens. Right-hander Alex Colome is scheduled to make his first start of the season for the Bulls, while the Mud Hens send right-hander Drew VerHagen (2-4, 3.86) to the mound. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.