DURHAM, NC - The biggest name on the Bulls roster delivered in the biggest spot of Monday night's game, as Hideki Matsui singled in Jesus Feliciano in the 10th inning to give Durham a 3-2 extra inning victory against Charlotte. Matsui's only hit of the game delivered the win after Brandon Gomes blew a Bulls lead in the 9th.
Charlotte got on the board first, scoring a run in the top of the third inning off of Bulls starter Lance Pendleton. Jim Gallagher walked to start the frame and was brought home by back-to-back singles by Tyler Kuhn and Greg Golson. Knights starter Charlie Leesman had a one-hitter going through four, but was surprisingly taken out of the game after throwing only 51 pitches. Duente Heath entered the game for Charlotte, and in the bottom of the sixth allowed an unearned run that knotted the game at one apiece.
Lance Pendleton pitched well for the Bulls, but for the third straight start did not receive a decision. He left the game after six strong innings of work, allowing four hits and an earned run, while striking out four. Dane De Le Rosa took the mound in relief in the top of the seventh and tossed two innings, allowing just a hit, while striking out three.
The game would remain tied until the bottom of the eighth inning. Donnie Veal walked Feliciano with one out before Matt Mangini then broke an 0-for-9 slump with a single to shallow centerfield. The Bulls leading hitter, Leslie Anderson, stepped to the plate and hit a ground ball to second that should have started an inning ending double play. Kuhn fielded the ball and then tossed it to former Bull Ray Olmedo, who recorded the out at second base but made an errant through to first. Olmedo's error allowed Feliciano to score, putting the Bulls on top 2-1.
Bulls closer Gomes then entered the game in the top of the 9th to attempt his fourth save of the season. After retiring the first batter of the inning, Gomes walked Hector Gimenez and then gave up an RBI double to Jordan Danks to tie the game once again.
As the game headed to extras, Feliciano hit his ninth of double of the year down the right field line to open the 10th. After Mangini was intentionally walked, Anderson flied out, setting the stage for Matsui to give the home crowd the hit they clamored for. The Durham DH smoked an Anthony Carter pitch into right center, plating Feliciano and winning the game. Matsui finished the night 1-5.
The Bulls conclude their four game set against the division rival Knights tomorrow afternoon at 1:05pm. RHP Terry Doyle (2-3, 3.66) gets the nod for the Knights against RHP Jim Paduch (2-1, 2.74), who is fresh off his win against Daisuke Matsuzaka last week.