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Tides sweep Bulls on two shockers; 7-5, 1-0

Posted August 31, 2013

— Yamaico Navarro blooped a game-winning single in the last of the eighth as the Norfolk Tides swept a pair from the Durham Bulls on Saturday night at Harbor Park.

The Tides (76-66) started a two-out, none-on rally with a double from Luis Exposito. A 13-pitch at-bat followed with Frank DeLosSantos (L, 3-3) walking Chris Dickerson. Navarro followed with a looper into right-center to keep the Tides a game in front in the International League wild card race with two games remaining.

In the opener, the Bulls (86-56) lost a 5-1, eighth inning lead to fall 7-5. The Tides batted around in the bottom of the eighth against three Durham pitchers, with Steve Clevenger drilling a three-run, two-out home run to catapult Norfolk to a 7-5 lead.

Jairo Asencio (S, 27) notched his league-leading 27th save in the ninth as the Tides kept their wild-card hopes firmly alive with their second straight final at-bat win over the Bulls.

In the rain-suspended game from August 23rd, a pair of wild pitches by Norfolk reliever Mike Belfiore handed Durham a 2-0 lead after 2 1/2. As the game resumed with the bases loaded and one out for the Bulls, Belfiore retired Craig Albernaz on an infield popfly, but threw wildly against Evan Frey to put Durham up 1-0. In the third, another two-out wild pitch by Belfiore scored Kevin Kiermaier from third.

The Bulls stretched their lead to 5-1 with three in the top of the eighth. Durham collected five singles against reliever Mark Hendrickson, with RBI-hits from Leslie Anderson, Mike Fontenot and Evan Frey.

Merrill Kelly took over for last Friday's starter JD Martin, throwing 6 1/3 strong innings. Kelly permitted only a third inning run on a sacrifice fly by Henry Urrutia, then was knocked out in the eighth on a two-run homer by Yamaico Navarro. CJ Riefenhauser replaced Kelly and gave up three straight singles to left-handed hitters to load the bases. Steve Geltz was brought in, retiring Jonathan Schoop on a sac fly, but then Steve Clevenger drove a three-run homer into the right field bullpen to put Norfolk up 7-5.

Juan Sandoval worked four scoreless innings in just his third start since 2007. Braulio Lara pitched three shutout innings in making his Triple-A debut.

The series continues Sunday at 6:05 PM ET with Matt Buschmann (8-1, 2.97) starting against Steve Johnson (1-3, 4.54).

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