Lawrenceville, GA --- Andres Blanco hit a three-run home run as part of a five run inning to lead the Gwinnett Stripers past the Durham Bulls 7-3 on Saturday night at Coolray Field.
With the game tied 1-1 in the fifth, Bulls starter Ryan Yarbrough (L, 2-1) permitted five straight hits, including Blanco's three-run shot to left field to give Gwinnett (50-38) a 4-1 lead. A single and double followed, with Ryan LaMarre singling home two runs later in the inning for a 6-1 lead.
Durham (53-36) took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Michael Perez hooked a home run to right field against starting pitcher Patrick Weigel (W, 2-1).
Gwinnett tied the game in the last of the second on a single by LaMarre.
Trailing 7-1 in the eighth, the Bulls scored twice against Kurt Hoekstra, who was making his Triple-A debut. Jake Cronenworth walked, with Kean Wong doubling to left with one out. Perez hit a sac fly to center to score Cronenworth, bringing the Bulls to within 7-2. Nick Solak followed with a single to right to make it a 7-3 game.
Yarbrough retired the first nine batters of the game, fanning four. He worked five frames, permitting nine hits and six runs, striking out five.
The Bulls' lead int he South was trimmed to 2 1/2 games over Gwinnett ahead of the series finale on Sunday at 1:05 PM ET. Jalen Beeks (0-0, 1.93) is expected to start against Huascar Ynoa (1-2, 6.44).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.