Norfolk, VA --- Anthony Santander blooped in the game-winning hit with two outs in the ninth to lift the Norfolk Tides past the Durham Bulls 7-6 on Tuesday night at Harbor Park.
Santander fought off a 3-2 pitch from reliever Cole Sulser (L, 0-2) that just eluded left fielder Nick Solak's dive against the line to bring home Stevie Wilkerson with the winning run, sending Durham (3-8) to its third consecutive loss.
For the second game in a row, the Bulls jumped to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Christian Arroyo homered against starter Gabriel Ynoa for a 1-0 lead. Ynoa walked the next two hitters, who both later scored on a single by Mike Brosseau and groundout by Andrew Velazquez.
The Tides (5-8) scratched their way to a tie by the fourth inning. Andrew Kittredge surrendered a run in the second on an infield single by Chrsitopher Bostick. In the third, Andrew Moore relieved Kittredge, but allowed a home run to Ryan Mountcastle with two outs that trimmed Durham's lead to 3-2.
In the fourth, Wilkerson singled home Zach Vincej with two outs to tie the game, then Moore permitted his second home run of the game, a two-ryn shot to Jace Peterson to put the Tides ahead 5-3. Norfolk would tack on another run in the frame on a single by Vincej.
But the Bulls rallied to tie the game with two in the seventh and one in the eighth. Trailing 6-3, Velazquez reached on a one-out infield single. Jake Cronenworth then tripled to right to score Velazquez, but also scored when the relay throw to third base sailed into the Bulls dugout.
In the eighth, moments after Solak was cut down at home trying to score on a single by Brosseau, Nathan Lukes drilled a single to center to bring Brosseau in to tie the game at 6-6.
Norfolk started its game-winning rally thanks to a leadoff single by Wilkerson. A wild pitch pushed him to second before Sulser recorded a foul out and strikeout. But Chance Sisco walked ahead of Santander's clinching hit.
All nine in Durham's lineup had at least one hit, with Brosseau and Cronenworth collecting two apiece.
The Tides had 15 hits against five Bulls pitchers.
The four game series continues on Wednesday night at 6:35 PM ET with the Bulls facing Luis Ortiz (0-1, 6.43). The Bulls have not yet named a starting pitcher.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.