[Via email from the Durham Bulls' broadcaster Neil Solondz.]
Rhyne Hughes doubled in a run in the eighth, but for the second straight night, the Bulls couldn't close the deal, falling 2-1 at Gwinnett in the ninth inning.
Durham now has lost the first three games of this series with the Braves, the last two in the ninth inning. The Bulls, the wild-card leader by two games over Norfolk, are two games behind the Braves in the South Division.
Hughes doubled to left center with one out in the eighth off Vladimir Nunez, scoring Jon Weber, who singled and was sacrificed to second. However, the Bulls had numerous other opportunities to score earlier. Durham had a runner at second and none out in the second, sixth and seventh innings, and didn't score in any of those frames.
Jason Cromer worked six scoreless for Durham, and Joe Bateman worked two innings, leaving the bases full in the eighth. Dale Thayer (0-5) started the ninth and allowed a Chris Burke leadoff single to left. After Clint Sammons popped up a sacrifice attempt for the first out, Brian Barton singled to right to put runners at first and second. Burke stole third as Reid Gorecki fanned for the second out. Wes Timmons, who was 3-for-3 with a sacrifice, fell behind 1-2, but drew a walk to load the bases. Brandon Jones, the hero the night before, was down to his last strike, but worked the count full, and then single to right scoring Burke and Barton for the 2-1 win.
Durham now has lost five of six, and three have come on blown saves by three different relievers in the ninth inning.
Durham collected nine hits, two from Weber and Hughes.
The Bulls will try to salvage the last of four against Gwinnett on Thursday at 6:45, as Wade Davis faces rehabbing major leaguer Tim Hudson. The game can be heard on 99.9 the Fan's HD2, or on www.durhambulls.com.