Bats blank Bulls 2-0 in return to Slugger Field [Sports]

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By Josh Cook

It was a happy homecoming for the Louisville Bats on Thursday night, especially for closer Jon Adkins.  

Four Bats' pitchers - including Adkins, who set a new franchise save record - combined for a five-hit shutout of the Durham Bulls in a 2-0 win in front of 8,373 fans at Louisville Slugger Field.

In its first home game since last Monday (June 7), Louisville scored single runs in the first and eighth innings to pick up its third victory in its last four games.

The Bats (31-36) got a strong start from Chad Reineke (3-5). The right-hander yielded only four hits while walking one and striking out three over seven innings against the International League South-leading, and last year's IL champion, Bulls (39-27).

Reineke got all the offensive help he would need in the first when Chris Burke led off with a double against Durham starter Heath Phillips (6-5). Burke went to third on Zack Cozart's sacrifice bunt, then scored when Yonder Alonso grounded out.

In the eighth Drew Sutton led off with a single, advanced to second on Chris Denove's ground out, then scored on Cozart's two-out single.

Carlos Fisher and Bill Bray combined for 1 2/3 innings of relief before Adkins came on with two outs in the ninth and got Angel Chavez to ground out. That was good enough for the 10th save of the season and the 40th - which established a new franchise record - of the 32-year-old right-hander's career with the Bats. 

Burke went 2-for-4 to lead Louisville's six-hit attack.

The same two teams battle at 7:05 p.m. Friday night. Highly-touted left-hander Aroldis Chapman (5-4, 4.22 earned-run average) is slated to make his fifth start at Slugger Field. It is also Southern Indiana Night at the park, and there will also be an appearance by the Quebec Russian Bar Trio in addition to the post-game fireworks.

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