DURHAM, N.C. -Taylor Featherston emerged as the hero for the Durham Bulls Saturday night, as the right fielder's seventh inning grand slam propelled the Bulls to a 6-3 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at the DBAP.
10,147 fans piled into the DBAP as the Bulls' celebrated their 10 millionth paid fan in the club's Triple-A history. That sold out crowd witnessed Featherston flip the script on the game after the seventh inning stretch, as the Texas native turned a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 Durham lead with one swing of the bat. The Bulls' fourth grand slam of the season proved to be the difference as Durham won their second game in three days in a battle between the top two teams in the International League.
The night began with four scoreless innings for both teams, as Bulls' starting pitcher Michael Roth allowed just one baserunner while striking out seven. Scranton/WB was able to break through in the top of the fourth however, with a solo home run by Ji-Man Choi putting the road team ahead 1-0. The Bulls responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning, with a two-out double by Featherston and an RBI single from Jake Hager tying the score at 1-1.
The RailRiders re-took the advantage in the fifth though, as Donovan Solano lined a solo shot to left before Billy McKinney laced an RBI single for a 3-1 score. That margin held until the bottom of the seventh, when Scranton/WB turned to reliever Tyler Jones following a quality start by Brady Lail. Durham quickly jumped on the new pitcher, with back-to-back singles from Johnny Field and Patrick Leonard as well as a walk to Curt Casali loading the bases with nobody out. Featherston then promptly un-loaded the bases with a towering grand slam to left-center field that put the Bulls ahead 5-3.
Durham picked up one last tally in the eight when Leonard lined a solo homer off the Bull above the Blue Monster in left field to give Durham the 6-3 score they would win by.
Featherston finished the night 2-3 with a home run, double, four RBI, and two runs scored, while Leonard went 2-4 with a long ball, two runs scored, and an RBI.
Reliever Andrew Kittredge (6-1) earned the win for Durham with two scoreless frames out of the bullpen, while teammate Diego Castillo (4) recorded the save after throwing a scoreless ninth. Jones (6-4) took the loss for Scranton/WB after allowing five runs over his two innings on the mound.
The Bulls (73-46) will go for the series win over the RailRiders (76-43) Sunday evening, with RHP Brent Honeywell (11-7, 3.74) taking on LHP Caleb Smith (9-1, 2.41) at 5:05 pm.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.