The Durham Bulls didn’t take care of their own business in the opener of their two-game series at Charlotte on Wednesday night, but thanks to a little help from their friends they’re right on the brink of a playoff berth.
The Bulls just weren’t very good, falling 10-2 to the eliminated Knights at Knights Stadium.
But the Gwinnett Braves lost once in their doubleheader at Norfolk, while the Lehigh Valley IronPigs fell to visiting archrival Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
All the results dropped Durham’s “magic number” to two to win the International League’s South Division title over the second-place Braves, and to one against Lehigh Valley to clinch a playoff spot.
Dan Johnson homered, doubled, walked twice and scored both runs for the Bulls, but otherwise Deunte Heath (4-7) was in control for Charlotte.
The Knights put the game away with five runs in the first against Andy Sonnanstine (3-6). Charlotte poured on 13 hits, including homer and two singles for four RBI from Dallas McPherson.
The finale of the two-game set is tonight at 7:15, with Clayton product Chris Archer (1-0, 1.50) taking on the Knights’ Dylan Axelrod (6-1, 2.45). The Bulls will finish their regular season with a four-game series at Norfolk beginning Friday night.