NORFOLK, VA - Jake Hager hit a leadoff home run in the 10th inning Sunday night at Harbor Park, lifting the Bulls to a 5-4 win in the opener of a two-game set with the Norfolk Tides.
Hager blasted a 2-1 pitch over the left-centerfield wall leading off extra innings, as his first home run at the Triple-A level put Durham (56-73) in front by a run. In the bottom of the frame the Tides (56-73) got a two-out single from Dariel Alvarez, but Neil Wagner struck out Austin Wynns to end the contest to give the Bulls their second win in their last three games.
Durham led 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth, but the Tides made it a one-run game on an RBI double by Paul Janish. Then in the ninth the home side tied the contest when Christian Walker laced an RBI double down the left field line, and Michael Almanzar lifted a sac fly to right to force extra innings.
After Alvarez's RBI double put Norfolk in front in the bottom of the first, JP Arencibia's two-run home run in the second put the Bulls in front by a run. In the third Hager scored on a wild pitch to put the visitors in front by a pair, and Hager struck again in the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly that scored Johnny Field for a 4-1 lead.
Tyler Sturdevant (3-2) earned the win, despite allowing two runs on three hits over 1 1/3 innings of relief, while Wagner picked up his second save by getting the game's final two outs. Edgar Olmos (3-4) suffered the loss after allowing Hager's homer in the 10th. Lost in the late-game dramatics was the performance of Bulls starter Eddie Gamboa, who allowed one run on three hits across 6 2/3 innings while striking out seven.
Hager led the Durham offense, finishing 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Field contributed a run and a hit from the ninth spot in the lineup, and Arencibia finished with a pair of RBI as well.
The brief two-game set comes to a close Monday at 7:05 p.m. The rehabbing RHP Alex Cobb (0-1, 6.43) takes the hill for Durham against RHP David Hale (3-7, 5.65) for Norfolk.