Toledo, OH --- Leslie Anderson doubled home the tie-breaking runs in the eighth inning to lead the Durham Bulls past the Toledo Mud Hens 6-3 at Fifth Third Field on Wednesday night.
Anderson smoked a 1-2 pitch from right-hand reliever Jose Ortega with the bases loaded to give Durham (71-41) a 5-3 lead. Jason Bourgeois followed with a sac fly to bump the lead to 6-3. Ortega had relieved left-handed Darin Downs after two singles and a walk filled the bases. Downs walked Belnome on five pitches to load the bases, and forced manager Phil Nevin to bring in Ortega. Anderson had been hitting .200 against lefties and .353 against right-handers before the two-run double.
With the win, the Bulls maintained their 14 1/2 game lead in the South, and lowered their magic number to clinching the South Division to 19.
The Mud Hens (48-65) struck for a first inning run against Matt Buschmann. Kevin Russo doubled against the left field wall to open the inning, then scored on a groundball single to right-center by Jordan Lennerton putting Toledo up 1-0.
Durham took a 2-1 lead in the second against Jair Jurrjens. Vince Belnome and Leslie Anderson started the inning with singles, with Belnome advancing to third on a diving catch by Kevin Russon in deep center which robbed Jason Bourgeois of extra bases. Mike Fontenot's grounder off Jurrjens glove scored Belnome to tie the game 1-1. Evan Frey, recalled from Double-A Montgomery earlier in the day, doubled to left-center to score Anderson for a 2-1 Bulls lead.
The Bulls added a fifth inning run on a sacrifice fly by Cole Figueroa, scoring Jesus Flores who started the inning with a double.
Toledo caught the Bulls 3-3 in the last of the fifth, building a two-run frame against Buschmann after he retired the first two hitters of the inning. Jordan Lennerton singled and scored on a double by Mike Cervenak. Danny Dorn followed with a game-tying double to make it 3-3.
Buschmann worked six innings, allowing three runs with eight strikeouts for the no-decision. CJ Riefenhauser (W, 1-0) pitched a hitless eighth inning to record his first Triple-A victory. Josh Lueke (S, 14) pitched the final two innings to record his 14th save.
The third game of the series is Thursday night with JD Martin (13-4, 2.76) opposing Jose Alvarez (7-4, 2.64) at 7:00 PM ET.