by Mike Potter
The Durham Bulls moved one step closer to a playoff spot, while the Carolina Mudcats ended a road series on a good note Monday night.
And the Mudcats banged out 13 hits to beat the Jacksonville Suns 3-2.
The Mudcats will have Tuesday night off, then return home Wednesday for the opener of a five-game set with the Mobile BayBears.
The Bulls will play their second of the three-game set at Charlotte tonight, and will be on the road until a home game against the Norfolk Tides on Aug. 24.
Bulls 8, Charlotte 7
Joe Bateman improved to 5-0 with a victory in relief while Winston Abreu picked up his 18th save for the Bulls.
Rocco Baldelli had a sacrifice fly and a single in his first two plate appearances for the Bulls this season. Elliot Johnson was the only Durham player with two hits, while Dioner Navarro added a single with two RBI. The Bulls’ magic number is seven to eliminate the Knights and the Gwinnett Braves in the International League South Division race.
Brent Morel had a pair of solo homers and a single for the Knights.
Freddy Dolsi (2-6) took the loss.
Mudcats 3, Jacksonville 2
Tom Cochran had two hits including a double with an RBI and improved to 8-5 on the hill as the Mudcats broke a two-game losing streak.
Jerry Gil picked up his seventh save of the season while UNC alumnus Andrew Miller (1-8) took the loss.
Sean Henry added a pair of hits for two RBI for the Mudcats.
Bulls at Charlotte, 7:15 p.m.
Richard De Los Santos (R, 12-5, 3.61) vs. Jeff Marquez (R, 8-6, 4.10)