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Monday, September 15, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 8/5/2003

Durham tops Mud Hens in 15th

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Pete LaForest was the hero for the Bulls, ripping a leadoff triple up the gap in left-center off reliever Steve Avery (0-2), and scoring on Jason Tyner's sacrifice fly to right. LaForest entered the game as pinch-runner for catcher Hector Ortiz in the 13th inning.

The game began after a rain delay of two hours and seven minutes, the third straight game delayed by the wet weather here.

The Mud Hens got one-out singles from Kevin Jordan and Cody Ross in their half of the 15th, but Ernie Young grounded to third and Bulls reliever Talley Haines fanned Jhonny Perez for the final out.

Toledo (57-58) had squandered a chance to win the game in the 12th inning after third baseman Brant Ust worked Durham reliever Todd Belitz for a leadoff walk and Omar Infante reached on a sacrifice bunt attempt when Belitz threw high to first.

Leadoff hitter Andres Torres, in his first game back with Toledo after being demoted by the Tigers, fouled out to Ortiz on a bunt attempt for the first out. Then, Kevin Jordan's hard liner was snared by Bulls second baseman Brooks Badeaux, who threw to shortstop Jason Smith to double Ust off second and end the inning.

Durham then stranded runners at second and third in the top of the 13th, and the Hens left Brandon Inge on third in the bottom of the 13th preceding LaForest's heroics.

Most importantly this morning, Toledo blew a chance to move up a notch on all three counts in its chase for a playoff spot.

Louisville, the IL West leader, lost, as did Toledo's chief rivals from the North Divsion in the wild-card race, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Buffalo. This combination kept the Hens 7 games back in the division and 31/2 games behind in the wild-card chase with 29 games remaining on the schedule.

Durham designated hitter Dan Grummitt launched a 1-2 offering from Hen starter Andy Van Hekken over the left-field wall leading off the third inning for a 1-0 Durham lead.

The Hens answered in their half of the third when Ust and Infante smacked consecutive one-out doubles to tie the game, then went ahead on Kevin Jordan's sacrifice fly after Torres drew a walk and he and Infante pulled off a double steal.

An untimely passed ball charged to Toledo catcher Inge helped the Bulls knot things at 2-2 in the fifth. Durham's Chris Truby led off that inning with a sharp single through the box, and moved up on the passed ball. He ultimately scored on a two-out single from Ortiz.

The Bulls regained the lead an inning later with former Mud Hen Ryan Jackson driving home Tyner with a one-out single to right-center. Tyner, who had singled in his first two trips, led off the inning with a double to center and advanced to third on a bunt.

The bottom of the Toledo batting order rose to the occasion with a “double-double” again in the seventh inning after Inge sandwiched a single between two strikeouts. Ust drove an RBI double off the left-field wall, his third two-bagger in two games, and Infante sliced one to the right-field corner to plate Ust for a 4-3 Hen edge.



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