Shelley Duncan raises the steaks with minor league HR

Shelley Duncan had little more than cup of coffee with the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this season. But with Triple-A Durham on Sunday, the 33-year-old slugger used his bat to get a much more savory prize: A free steak.

And scored one for a fan, Linda Rives, too.

Duncan, who went 10 for 55 (.182 batting average) with two home runs and six RBI in 20 games with the Rays this season, smacked a solo home run to left field in the second inning Sunday during the Bulls’ 7-4 victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Not quite the thrill of a game-ending show of power, but much more satisfying than a run-of-the-mill homer, at least to his taste buds because the ball hit the Snorting Bull.

The Snorting Bull is Durham Bulls Athletic Park’s sign, a prior version of the one made famous in the movie “Bull Durham.” Duncan’s homer run was the first ball to strike the sign this season. As part of the “Hit Bull Win Steak” promotion, Duncan and a fortunate fan receive steak dinners at a local steakhouse.

The last Bull to hit the sign, according to the team, was current Ray Sean Rodriguez on Aug. 26, 2012.

Duncan, sent outright to Durham on May 3, is hitting .262 with three home runs and 11 RBI in 22 games with the Bulls. After Sunday, he can add “one steak dinner” to that line.

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