Norfolk, VA --- Joey Butler doubled home two runs in the 11th to lead Durham past first-place Norfolk 6-5 on Tuesday night at Harbor Park.
After the Bulls (65-66) lost a two-run lead, Durham strung three straight hits together to start the 11th against former Bulls reliever Andy Oliver (L, 4-2). Taylor Motter looped a single inside the left field line before Richie Shaffer doubled against the left field wall on three hops, moving Motter to third. Butler sliced a two-run double into the right field corner to reclaim a 5-3 lead. Two hitters later, Hak-Ju Lee hit a sacrifice fly to bring Butler home for a 6-3 advantage.
Michael Almanzar drilled a two-run homer off of winning pitcher Kirby Yates (W, 1-2) to draw the Tides (73-57) to within 6-5, but Yates closed out the game stranding the tying run at first base.
Durham's sixth straight win pulled the surging Bulls to 8 1/2 behind first place Norfolk in the South with 13 to play, holding the elimination number against the Bulls at 6.
With the game tied 1-1 in the sixth, Shaffer and Butler hit consecutive doubles for a 2-1 lead, then a single to center by Jake Elmore bumped the lead to 3-1.
After Blake Snell was removed after five innings, Andrew Bellatti permitted a run in the sixth and seventh. Snell allowed one run on five hits and fanned three in his no-decision.
The Bulls quick road trip concludes Wednesday afternoon at 12:05 PM ET with Bradin Hagens opposing Chris Jones.