Norfolk 3, Durham 1

Norfolk plated three seventh inning runs to rally past the Durham Bulls 3-1 Thursday night at Harbor Park.

The Tides trailed 1-0 and had mustered just one hit through the first six innings against Bulls’ starter Matt Torra (12-7) before breaking through in the decisive seventh frame. Ronny Paulino led off the inning with a single to left and moved to third on a one-out double by L.J. Hoes, chasing Torra from the contest. Steve Tolleson followed with a sacrifice fly off of Frank de los Santos to knot the score at 1-1, and Luis Exposito gave the Tides a lead one batter later with a single up the middle. Bill Hall then belted a pinch-hit double to right-center field, extending Norfolk’s advantage to 3-1.

Oscar Villarreal and Zach Phillips made the lead stand up, as the duo worked two shutout innings of relief. Phillips worked a perfect ninth inning to register his seventh save of the season.

The late rally made a winner of Jason Berken (5-6), who allowed one run while scattering seven hits over seven innings of work. Berken struck out four without walking a batter, and he retired each of the final nine batters he faced. The only damage the Bulls could muster was a 4th-inning RBI single by William & Mary product Will Rhymes.

With the win, Norfolk (71-69) swept the three-game series from Durham and moved to two games over .500 with four games remaining. The Tides yielded just one run in 23 innings during the rain-shortened series.

The Tides will welcome the Gwinnett Braves to town Friday night for the final four-game set of the season. Zach Clark (4-2, 2.17) will take the mound for Norfolk against left-hander Yohan Flande (6-10, 4.33), with first pitch set for 7:15.

About The Author

- Owner and Executive Editor

Tucker began operating in October 2013. He has been writing and reporting on the Orioles for an extensive period of time, dedicating most of his energy to the minor league side. He is also a member of the Baseball Prospectus Prospect Evaluation Team. Outside of baseball, Tucker also works as a Government Contractor for Contracting Resources Group, Inc. He has appeared as a radio guest on Fox 1370 and WNST 1570. Tucker writes and updates all player reports at and can be contacted at Follow Tucker on Twitter @TuckerBlairON. Email Tucker at