Syracuse, NY --- Corey Brown doubled with two outs in the ninth to send Durham to the lead, then Leonardo Reginatto turned in an unassisted double play to end the game as the Bulls won their fifth straight game, 7-6 over the Syracuse Chiefs on Friday night.
Brown's third straight hit capped a rousing rally for the Bulls (18-11), who trailed the game 6-1 entering the sixth inning. Down 6-5, Hak-Ju Lee started the ninth with a single, but hustled to second on a slight overrun by right fielder Tony Gwynn Jr. After a walk and a sacrifice bunt, Eugenio Velez lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score Lee with the tying run. Brown then followed with a double hooked into the right field corner to put Durham up 7-6. Brown spent the majority of the 2011-13 seasons with Syracuse.
In the bottom of the ninth, Andy Oliver entered to close the game with Ronald Belisario unavailable after earning saves Wednesday and Thursday. Oliver recorded the first out on one pitch, then permitted an infield single and a walk. Matt Minicozzi then hit a hard grounder into the shortstop hole, which Lee fielded and attempted to throw out Cutter Dykstra at third base. However, Reginatto was unable to find the third base bag, filling the bases. On the next pitch, Emmanuel Burriss drilled a liner into the glove of a leaping Reginatto, who raced to third base to double up Dykstra to end the contest.
The Bulls were swept eight straight games by the Chiefs (11-17) in 2014, outscored 65-25.
Durham started its rally against former three-time all-star Jose Valverde in the seventh. Vince Belnome and Reginatto each doubled, followed by a run-scoring double by Lee. After Valverde was removed, Lee stole third base and scored on a sac fly by Taylor Motter to cut the deficit to 6-5.
The Bulls' rally took Matt Buschmann off the hook. Buschmann permitted three homers in five innings, six runs in total on eight hits.
Jim Miller (W, 1-0) was perfect through two innings to earn the win. Jake McGee threw another hitless inning as he continued his major league rehab for the Tampa Bay Rays. Nick Franklin, also working through a big league rehab, doubled and singled in his three at-bats, scoring twice and lining to the centerfield warning track in the first inning.
The Bulls send LH Scott Diamond (3-0, 1.67) against RH Taylor Hill (2-1, 3.81) in the middle game of the series Saturday afternoon at 1:05 PM ET.