DURHAM, NC - Just when it looked like the Durham Bulls and Gwinnett Braves would head to extra innings for the third straight game, Leslie Anderson delivered a walk off double to give the Bulls a 6-5 victory. Despite the first home runs of the season by Jeff Salazar and Brandon Guyer, the Braves rallied in the top of the ninth to put the Bulls on offense in the last frame. Anderson stepped to the plate with the game tied in the bottom of the ninth inning and smashed a double, scoring Jesus Feliciano and giving Durham its second walk off win of the season.
Bryan Augenstein made his Bulls debut on Saturday evening and excelled in his first start as a Bull. In the right hander's longest outing since 2010, he tossed six innings and allowed only an earned run while striking out eight. Augenstein outshined 2011 International Pitcher and Rookie of the Year Julio Teheran in the game. Teheran lasted less than two innings, allowing three runs. Augenstein was in line to earn the win until the ninth inning when Romulo Sanchez blew his first save of the season.
It took three games, but Jeff Salazar crushed the first Bulls home run of the season in the second inning. The Bulls would add two more runs in the inning to take a 3-2 lead, thanks to a double by catcher Chris Gimenez and a sacrifice fly by Tim Beckham. Centerfielder Brandon Guyer added to the cushion and made it a 4-2 game when he smashed his first round tripper of the year, a solo shot to left center in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The stage was set for the Bulls second victory of the season when Sanchez blew a save opportunity in the top of the ninth inning. The Braves scored two runs in the top of the frame to take a 5-4 lead. Jaye Chapman entered the game for the Braves, this time with a save opportunity for Gwinnett and like Sanchez, blew the chance. After a single by Matt Mangini in the bottom of the ninth to bring home the tying run, Anderson stepped to the plate. He crushed a double to left center which allowed the pinch runner Feliciano to score and the Bulls to win in comeback fashion for the second time in three games. Anderson had a breakout game, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and the RBI that saved the game from going to extras again. Cesar Ramos (1-0, 4.50) picked up the win in relief after entering for Sanchez, who left the game after taking a hard liner off his ankle.
The Durham Bulls and Gwinnett Braves are back at it tomorrow for the conclusion of the first series of the 2012 season. Clayton native Chris Archer will make his first start of the season for the Bulls against Eric Junge for the G-Braves. Following the game, its Pepsi Kids Run the Bases on the field. Bugs Bunny will once again make an appearance at the DBAP presented by Time Warner Cable. Game time is set for 5:05pm.