Lawrenceville, GA --- Shelley Duncan singled home the tie-breaking run in the seventh to lift the Durham Bulls past the Gwinnett Braves 5-4 at Coolray Field on Friday night.
The Bulls reduced their magic number to clinching the South Division to six. Second place Norfolk edged Toledo 5-4 on Friday night.
Matt Buschmann (W, 7-1) worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) to improve to 7-1 and collect his 13th combined win in the Rays organization in 2013. Jeff Beliveau, Steve Geltz and Kirby Yates (S, 17) collaborated on the final 2 2/3 innings, surrendering just one hit and fanning four to nail down the win to split the four-game series.
Trailing 2-0 in the sixth, the Bulls (78-49) capitalized on a pair of walks from Cody Martin to jumpstart a three-run inning. Martin threw away Chris Gimenez's sacrifice bunt to allow Tim Beckham to score Durham's first run. A second Braves' error tied the game, followed by a grounder by Evan Frey to put the Bulls up 3-2.
Gwinnett (54-74) went ahead with two in the bottom of the sixth before the Bulls rallied a second time. Beckham reached on an error past third baseman Joe Leonard, sprinting home to second on the play. Beckham then further ignited the Bulls by scoring from second base on a wild pitch by Mark Lamm to tie the game 4-4. After a pair of walks, Duncan singled softly to left-center to score Cole Figueroa with the leading run.
The Bulls' road trip continues Saturday night at Charlotte with JD Martin (14-4) starting at 7:15 PM ET.
Bulls game story brought to you by Strayer University, Bringing Home the Bulls in September.