By Josh Cook
The Louisville Bats' bats finally got the better of the Durham Bulls.
After outhitting host Durham in three straight games, and losing them all, Louisville pounded out 15 hits to beat the Bulls 10-5 Friday night at Durham (N.C.) Bulls Athletic Park.
Yonder Alonso's eighth-inning grand slam was the biggest hit as the Bats beat the International League South-leading Bulls (49-32).
Things didn't start off well for Louisville. In the bottom of the first when Dan Johnson hit his IL-leading 19th home run of the season, a two-run shot, off Bats starter Matt Klinker.
But Louisville (37-45) responded. Todd Frazier led off the second with a double, then moved to third on Juan Francisco's single. Durham starter Heath Phillips then walked Ryan Hanigan and hit Chris Valaika to score Frazier. Daniel Dorn followed with a single to score Francisco, before Drew Sutton's sacrifice fly scored Hanigan to make it 3-2 Bats.
Zack Cozart led off the fifth with a double, then scored on Alonso's single to make it 4-2.
But the Bulls tied the score in the bottom of the inning on Johnson's second two-run homer of the game.
Louisville retook the lead in the sixth when Valaika greeted new pitcher Darin Downs (2-1) with a single with a leadoff single. He stole second with two outs, then scored on a single by Gary Matthews Jr.
Then in the eighth Dorn led off with a double against Bulls reliever Joe Bateman. Matthews singled with one out to move Dorn to third before Bateman walked Cozart to load the bases. That set the stage for Alonso's grand slam to left field.
The Bats added some insurance in the ninth when Hanigan led off with a single, moved to second on Valaika's single and scored on another by Dorn.
Klinker (2-1) picked up the win for Louisville in his third Triple-A start of the season. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out three over five innings. Jared Burton pitched one inning of relief before Aroldis Chapman threw two. The highly-touted left-hander allowed one earned run on two hits while striking out three, although he did throw a wild pitch that led to a run.
In addition to Alonso going 3-for-6 with five RBIs, Dorn also had three hits and two RBIs for the Bats. Matthews, Francisco and Valaika added two hits apiece for Louisville.
The Bats return to Louisville for one game against Indianapolis at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night before heading up Interstate 65 for a quick three-game series versus the Indians.
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