Bulls edged by Tides, 3-2
Posted September 1, 2013
Norfolk, Va. — Steve Johnson fanned 10 over 6 1/3 innings to lead Norfolk past Durham 3-2 on Sunday night at Harbor Park.
The Tides (77-66) maintained their one-game lead in the wild-card chase ahead of Monday's regular season finale. Norfolk will claim its first post-season berth since 2005 with either a win over Durham (86-57) on Monday or a Rochester loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Trailing 1-0 in the second, Mike Fontenot doubled home Tim Beckham to tie the game with two outs. That hit would be Durham's last until a sixth inning single by Brandon Guyer.
Yamaico Navarro doubled in Chris Dickerson in the Tides' fifth inning, then Jonathan Schoop grounded a double past third base against Matt Buschmann (L, 8-2) for a 3-1 lead.
In the ninth, the Bulls nearly rallied against I.L. all-star closer Jairo Asencio (S, 28). Cole Figueroa reached on an infield single to start the inning, then scored on a wild throw by Navarro on a double-play grounder off of Guyer's bat. The throw rolled past the right field line for an error that sent Guyer to third as the tying run with nobody out. Evan Frey fanned as a pinch-hitter, with Jason Bourgeois hitting a hard grounder to the backhand of Alex Liddi at third base. With the infield in, Liddi was still able to make the defensive play. Tim Beckham then contacted an 0-2 pitch with a check-swing roller alongside the second base bag. Navarro raced up the middle to field the ball and threw Beckham out on a tight play at first base to end the game.
Johnson (W, 2-3) fanned 10 over 6 1/3 innings, issuing two walks and allowing two hits to claim the win. Buschmann suffered just his second loss of the year, working six innings on five hits, striking out four.
The Bulls close out the regular season at 12:05 PM ET Monday with Enny Romero making his Triple-A debut against lefty Zach Britton.