[Via email from the Durham Bulls' broadcaster Neil Solondz.]
Elliot Johnson sparked a six-run rally in the ninth, as Durham beat Gwinnett 9-5 on Thursday to move within a game of first place.
Johnson, who was 3-for-5, singled to start the ninth against closer Luis Valdez (5-4). He then scored from first on Henry Mateo's one-out triple to center, jarring the ball loose from Clint Sammons in a collison at the plate. After John Jaso struck out, Desmond Jennings singled to left to give Durham a 5-4 lead, their first advantage since the fifth inning. Reid Brignac then singled, as did Justin Ruggiano and Jon Weber, with the last two hits driving home runs for a 7-4 lead. That chased Valdez, and Chris Richard doubled to right center for a 9-4 lead.
Jason Childers allowed a run in the ninth, but closed out the game, allowing Durham to salvage the last of four against Gwinnett.
Johnson and Weber highlighted a 14-hit attack with three hits each. Chris Richard had a pair of doubles. Dale Thayer (1-5) got the win with a scoreless ninth.
Durham now heads home and begins a series with Scranton, the North Division leader and defending Governors' Cup champion on Friday. Andy Sonnanstine starts against Kei Igawa. Coverage on 99.9 the Fan begins at 6:55.
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