DURHAM, NC - In a game that featured 19 walks, 28 men left on base, four hit batters, two position players on the mound and took four hours and two minutes to complete, the Durham Bulls beat the Gwinnett Braves 9-8 in 10 innings in front 10,006 fans at the DBAP Saturday night.
After running out of pitchers, Durham (25-32) trotted starting catcher Mayo Acosta to the mound in the 10th inning, and he promptly retired all three batters he faced on eight pitches. In the bottom of the frame the G-Braves turned to former Bull Reid Brignac, who allowed a walk-off, bases-loaded single to Dayron Varona as Durham captured its fourth straight victory.
The Bulls got things going early in the contest, scoring two runs in the first inning. Richie Shaffer put Durham on top with an RBI single to right field, and Jaff Decker followed with a bloop single to center that scored Nick Franklin for a 2-0 lead.
Gwinnett (25-31) came back with two runs in the second to even the contest, and scored again in the third frame to take a 3-2 lead. The back-and-forth contest continued quickly though, as the Bulls stormed back with three runs in the fourth inning on a three-run home run to center field off the bat of Daniel Robertson.
Durham's offense continued to produce in the fifth frame, as Acosta walked with the bases loaded to increase the lead to 6-3. JP Arencibia then came around to score on a ground out, before Robertson struck again with a two-out, RBI single that scored Jake Goebbert for an 8-3 advantage.
The G-Braves scored a pair of runs in the fifth to cut the deficit to three, before scoring again in the eighth to make it a two-run ballgame. In the ninth they came all the way back with two more runs, forcing the game into extra innings.
Acosta (2-0) picked up the victory with a perfect final frame, and has not allowed a run in two innings on the mound this season. Brignac (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing three hits and walking a batter in the 10th inning.
Robertson led the Durham offense with a 2-for-6 night, driving in four while notching his second homer of the year. Shaffer went 3-for-6 with an RBI, while Decker reached base five times via a single, three walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Durham wraps its seven-game homestand Sunday when it sends LHP Blake Snell (2-4, 3.51) to the mound opposite RHP Lucas Sims (1-4, 6.05) for Gwinnett. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
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