Karns, Price lead Bulls past Pigs, 9-2
Posted August 3
Allentown, Pa. — Nathan Karns rolled to his fifth straight victory, leading the Durham Bulls past Lehigh Valley 9-2 on Sunday night and a seven game lead in the South.
Karns (W, 9-5), who was unbeaten over five July starts, permitted two runs over six innings against the Iron Pigs (53-63). His biggest pitch of the game was a curveball that struck out Jim Murphy with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth with Durham (60-54) leading just 3-2.
In the top of the next half inning, Robby Price drilled a three-run homer to right field against left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst as the Bulls began to pull away. The homer was Price's first since May 16th and hooked inside the foul pole for a 6-2 lead. Starter Brad Lincoln walked the first two hitters before whiffing Ali Solis before he was taken out of the game in favor of Horst.
Durham took the game's only lead in the first inning against Lincol when Mikie Mahtook drilled a double against the left-centerfield wall to score Justin Christian, who singled to open the game. Mike Fontenot later singled home Mahtook for a 2-0 advantage.
Jeremy Moore stroked a Lincoln pitch over the centerfield wall in the third for a 3-1 Durham lead.
After Karns saw Russ Canzer turn around a 95-mph fastball for a solo homer in the fourth to draw Lehigh Valley to within 3-2, he nearly saw the lead slip away in the fifth. Karns retired the first two hitters before an error by first baseman Vince Belnome started an Iron Pigs uprising. Freddy Galvis singled, followed by a hard one-hopper off of Karns glove for an infield single by Canzler to load the bases. Karns worked the count full against Jim Murphy before bending a curve over the plate that Murphy could only watch for strike three.
Steve Geltz and Adam Liberatore combined for the final three innings.
The Bulls reclaimed a seven game lead in the South thanks to Norfolk's 2-1 loss to Buffalo Sunday night.
Christian paced Durham's 14-hit attack by going 3-6, with Moore, Fontenot and Solis each collecting two hits apiece.
Karns was 4-0 in the month of July with a 1.62 ERA.
The Bulls contineu their series against the Iron Pigs on Monday night at 7:05 PM ET with Alex Colome (5-3, 3.25) scheduled to start against Greg Smith (7-8, 4.60).