Syracuse, NY --- One day after rallying from 6-1 down to win, the Durham Bulls failed to hold a 6-1 lead as Syracuse edged past the Bulls 9-8 in 12 innings on Saturday afternoon.
A bases loaded walk in the last of the 12th ended Durham's season-high five game winning streak. Jordan Norberto (L, 1-2) suffered the loss after a third walk in the frame forced home Ian Stewart with the winning run for Syracuse (12-17).
The Bulls drilled a season-high 18 hits in the loss, including five home runs from five different hitters. Alexi Casilla, JP Arencibia, Curt Casali, Allan Dykstra and Eugenio Velez each went deep for the Bulls (18-12). Arencibia's opposite-field shot in the 11th handed Durham an 8-7 lead, but the Chiefs tied the game in the bottom half on a two-out single by Tony Gwynn Jr., plus an error by right fielder Taylor Motter which allowed the tying run to come home.
Durham had built a 6-1 advantage into the bottom of the fifth before the Chiefs began their rally. Scott Diamond allowed two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth before his outing was finished.
Velez homered in the eighth for a 7-4 lead, but the Chiefs hit their only home run of the game in the last of the eighth off the bat of Jason Martinson, whose two-run shot sliced Durham's lead to 7-6. Gwynn drove a one-out single to center to even the game against Bulls closer Ronald Belisario.
Durham's bullpen had not surrendered a run since April 29th, spanning nine games. The pen permitted four runs in 5 1/3 on Saturday.
Mikie Mahtook and Motter each had three hits to pace the Bulls' attack, with Dykstra and Casali going back-to-back in the fifth.
Enny Romero will make his Bulls 2015 debut on Sunday afternoon as he takes the mound in the rubber game of the series with the Chiefs. Syracuse will counter with AJ Cole (0-0, 2.14) at 1:05 PM ET.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.