by Mike Potter
Justin Ruggiano’s three-run homer in the ninth provided the difference as the Durham Bulls got their road trip off on the right foot with a 5-3 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Scott Mathieson (3-4) took the loss.
Elliot Johnson had three hits including a double for the Bulls, while Lobaton added two hits.
Dominic Brown led Lehigh Valley with a triple and a single for two RBI.
Game 2 of the four-game set is Wednesday night.
Bulls at Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m.
Brian Baker (R, 7-1, 2.48) vs. Brandon Duckworth (R, 5-3, 3.53)