Joe Dillon’s two doubles looked awfully big for the Durham Bulls.


The two-baggers from Dillon (pictured) turned out to be half of Durham’s hits on Sunday at Harbor Park, where the Bulls beat the homestanding Norfolk Tides 3-2 to earn a split of their season-opening four-game series.

It was a good day for both of the Triangle’s minor-league baseball teams, as the Carolina Mudcats kept up their winning ways against the host Birmingham Barons in a 4-1 victory that improved the Mudcats to 4-0.

The Bulls travel to the Gwinnett Braves for the opener of a three-game series on Monday, while the Mudcats will play the finale of their five-game set at Birmingham.

Carolina will have Tuesday off before hosting its home opener on Wednesday night against the Montgomery Biscuits, Double-A affiliates of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Bulls 3, Norfolk 2
Angel Chavez added a triple and a pair of sacrifice flies for Durham, which ended a two-game slide.

Virgil Vasquez was the winning pitcher in his first decision of the season, while Dale Thayer collected his second save.

Norfolk got a solo homer, a double and a single from Scott Moore, while Michael Aubrey doubled and singles with an RBI in the Tides’ seven-hit attack.

The score was tied 1-1 before the Bulls put together a two-run rally in the sixth to stick Troy Patton with the loss.

After Patton issued back-to-back one-out walks, Dillon greeted Ross Wolf with an RBI double. Chavez added the game-winner on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to right.

Mudcats 4, Birmingham 1

Starter Daryl Thompson, winner Daryl Harang (1-0) and closer Philippe Valiquette — who earned his first save of the season — combined on a two-hitter for Carolina.

The Mudcats got all the runs they needed in the first inning, with a two-run single from Denis Phipps the key hit off loser Anthony Carter.

Jake Kahaulelio added a double in Carolina’s five-hit attack.

Monday’s games
Bulls at Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m.

Carlos Hernandez (L, 7-6, 3.29 in ‘09) vs. Jonny Venters (L, 1-0, 4.50)

Mudcats at Birmingham, 8:05 p.m.
Alexander Smit (L, 4-3, 3.04 in ‘09) vs. Johnnie Lowe (R, 0-4, 9.25 in ’09)