T.J. House entered Friday night among the statistical leaders among pitchers in the International League.
He's still in that company but no longer at the top in earned-run average as the Durham Bulls did just enough against the Buffalo Bisons' lefty to pull out a 3-0 win at Durham Athletic Park.
The Bulls scored three times through the first four innings and had eight of their nine hits off the Herd's early-season ace, who came in with an IL-best ERA of 0.53 while limiting opponents to a .153 average, which ranked second.
While Durham did just enough offensively, Herd bats remained silent for the second time in as many games. The Bisons had just four hits after mustering just three in Thursday's 2-1 loss at Norfolk to cap a four-game series.
Taking the lead: Durham pushed a run across in the first inning on three hits. Casey Gillaspie's line drove to center field with two outs plated Jake Hager, who led off the game with a single.
More two out success: House was an out away from working around a lead-off double by Hager, but Patrick Leonard's single to center field made sure Hager wasn't stranded in scoring position, increasing the lead to 2-0 in the third.
Silent night: Buffalo failed to get a base runner past second base, as Durham starter Jacob Faria struck out 11 in six innings, yielding just three hits.
Smith is sixth: Dwight Smith Jr. had one of the Herd's hits and now has hit safely in four straight games and five of his last six. The sixth-year player now is batting .353 on the season, which ranks sixth in the IL.
Record: Buffalo falls to 13-7, Durham improves to 15-6.
Next: Bisons continue series at Durham at 6:35 p.m. Saturday with lefty Brett Oberholtzer (0-0, 2.25) earning the start for Buffalo.