DURHAM, NC - In a game that featured four 3-run homers, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees downed the Durham Bulls 12-8 in a slug fest at the DBAP on Tuesday night. Russell Branyan smashed two of those home runs, compiling six RBIs in the victory over Durham.
The Yankees took a commanding lead in the early part of the game, piling up six runs in the first three frames. Jhonny Nunez (1-2, 6.26), who made a spot start for the injured Matt Torra, lasted only two innings and allowed four earned runs in the losing effort.
Down 6-0 in the bottom of the third, Leslie Anderson stepped up to the plate with two on and one out, and crushed his team leading seventh home run to deep right field, cutting the Yankees lead in half. The Bulls continued to battle back in the top of the fifth inning. Chris Gimenez smacked his third hit of the game, an 2-RBI single to LF to pull the Bulls to within one and make it a 6-5 game.
With one swing of the bat, Branyan gave the Yankees another big advantage. The veteran with 194 Major League dingers on his resume hit his first home run of the season to right field, giving the Baby Bombers a cushy 9-5 lead in the top of the 6th inning.
The Bulls however, refused to go quietly in the homestand opener. In the Durham sixth, Henry Wrigley smashed his fourth home run of the year over the Blue Monster to pull the Bulls within one for the second time in the game. Wrigley finished the game with a season high four hits, going 4-for-5 with a HR, 2B, 3 R and 3 RBI.
With Scranton/Wilkes-Barre leading 9-8 in the top of the eighth inning, Branyan ensured the Yankees victory, crushing his second 3-run home run of the game. Branyan went 2-for-4 with a walk, 2 HR and 6 RBI. Winston-Salem native D.J. Mitchell (5-2, 5.22) earned the victory for the Yankees, despite allowing eight runs in 5 2/3 innings of work.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and the Bulls continue their four game series on Wednesday night at the DBAP with first pitch set for 7:05pm. Veteran RHP Ramon Ortiz (3-3, 3.47) takes the hill for the Yankees against Durham's RHP Lance Pendleton (2-1, 2.93). Tomorrow is Bark in the Park, where fans with dogs can purchase a special ticket to enjoy the game with their four-legged companion.