Despite Craig Albernaz' Grand Slam off the Snorting Bull sign at the DBAP, the Rochester Red Wings won their second straight over the Durham Bulls, 6-4 on Tuesday night.
In a game filled with early fireworks, Eduardo Escobar hit Bulls starter J.D. Martin's first pitch of the game over the wall in right center for a home run. The Bulls fell behind 3-0 after two innings.
That set the stage for an unlikely star. Rochester starter Scott Diamond's control deserted him in the second and he walked three batters, bringing Albernaz to the plate for his first at bat since July 2. He was taken off the disabled list earlier in the day when Jason Bourgeois was called up to Tampa Bay.
Albernaz, batting ninth, hit the first pitch he saw off the famous Snorting Bull sign, earning himself and 10 fans free steak dinners from Capitol City Chop House and giving the Bulls a dramatic first hit of the game. It was the first home run as a Bull for Albernaz, who has played parts of the last five seasons in Durham.
The shot was the third time a Bulls batter has hit the Bull sign this year. Shelley Duncan hit the first two. It was the first grand slam off the Bull since Midre Cummings hit a walk-off grand slam on April 19, 2004. The Bulls offense remained stagnant, however and managed just four more hits in the game.
Martin gave up a home run to Jeff Clement to lead off the sixth. The blast tied the game and cost Martin the chance to set the Bulls Triple-A single-season win record. He remains tied with Richard De Los Santos, who won 14 in 2010. Martin also hit Escobar in the fifth, causing the benches to clear and both dugouts to get a warning.
Reliever Josh Lueke (L, 2-1, 0.72) gave up a run on a James Beresford RBI single in the eighth to put Rochester on top and send the Bulls to their third straight loss, tying a season high.
Game three of the series continues at the DBAP at 7:05pm on Wednesday. The Bulls start RHP Jake Odorizzi (8-5, 3.73) against LHP Logan Darnell (2-3, 5.03) of the Red Wings.
Bulls game story brought to you by Strayer University, Bringing Home the Bulls in September.