Anderson delivers walk-off win in 10th inning
Leslie Anderson delivered just what the Durham Bulls needed in the 10th inning Tuesday night against the Columbus Clippers, driving in pinch runner Tim Duncan for a 6-5 victory at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
"It helps to come back (and win); we needed that game," Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. "We haven't had a walkoff in a while, so that was good — always gets a team going.
"I'm happy I rested (Brandon) Guyer and Beckham — until the end of the game," Montoyo said. "Tomorrow, it's somebody else's turn."
It was Anderson's second RBI of the night after a leadoff homer in the fourth inning. Shelley Duncan, Cole Figueroa and Vince Belnome also had a pair of hits for the Bulls.
Reliever Kirby Yates (3-1) picked up the victory, recording a pair of strikeouts while retiring four of the five batters he faced.
In the 10th, Belnome drew a leadoff walk against Columbus pitcher Scott Barnes (3-3), and Montoyo sent Beckham to first. Duncan followed with a single off the Green Monster in left field and took second on a throwing error by Tim Fedroff.
Anderson sliced a 3-1 pitch into center field, and Beckham trotted home.
"Obviously, you have days off here or there, then you do whatever you can to help the team win," Beckham said. "If you're a fast guy, you're going to pinch run."
The Bulls welcomed former major leaguer Daisuke Matsuzaka with a pair of runs in the first inning, as leadoff hitter Evan Frey singled on the second pitch to open the rally. Figueroa's double to right after a 10-pitch at-bat drove in Frey, and Belnome followed with an RBI single.
Anderson's 11th homer of the season in the fourth gave the Bulls a 3-0 lead.
But Columbus got to Durham starter Merrill Kelly in the top of the fifth. Matt Carson and Juan Diaz singled to start the rally, but Diaz was out at second on a grounder by Luis Hernandez. Kelly walked Roberto Perez to load the bases, and Ezequiel Carrera's single to left plated a pair of runs to cut the margin to 3-2.
Belnome opened the sixth with another single to right, and Duncan followed with his ninth home run for a 5-2 lead by the Bulls.
"(Matsuzaka) hung in there, made an adjustment in the third or fourth inning, then Duncan (got to him)," Montoyo said.
The Clippers jumped on Durham reliever Steve Geltz, who came on in the seventh, to tie the score. Hernandez walked, Perez singled to left and Carrera drew a walk to load the bases. Fedroff, a former North Carolina star, singled in Hernandez, and Perez scored on a sacrifice fly by Chun-Hsiu Chen that allowed Carrera to take third. After Jeff Beliveau took over on the mound for the Bulls, Nate Spears lofted a sacrifice fly to drive in Carrera before Jeremy Hermida struck out to end the rally.
The Bulls had runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Clippers reliever Bryan Price struck out Duncan and got Anderson to fly out to end the threat.
NOTES — The game was delayed eight minutes while the field was prepared after afternoon rain showers. ... The Bulls play a single game today in Charlotte and will have Matt Buschmann (2-0, 2.93 ERA) on the mound against Erik Johnson (1-0, 2.08). ... The Bulls have had a wave of roster changes in the past four days. Left-handed pitcher Frank De Los Santos came off the disabled list and was assigned to Class-A Charlotte, while outfielder Jason Bourgeois was placed on the DL retroactive to June 28. Pitcher Will Inman was released, and reliever Juan Sandoval was sent back to Double-A Montgomery.