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Bichette blasts Bisons past Red Wings

By: Mike Rose

Bo Bichette finished off his two-game rehab stint with the Bisons going 4-for-5 with a home run, three RBI, and two runs. (Photo: Buffalo Bisons)

BUFFALO, N.Y.– It was Bo's show Thursday night at Sahlen Field as the Blue Jays All-Star shortstop Bo Bichette powered the Buffalo Bisons past the Rochester Red Wings, 7-1. Bichette finished 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBI on the night before exiting for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the sixth.

"Our number two hitter, he's pretty good. Hopefully, we can keep him. I was going to call Toronto and suggest he probably needs a few more weeks down here," Buffalo Bisons Manager Casey Candaele said about Bichette postgame.

Bichette made his return to the field at shortstop after serving as the designated hitter Wednesday and said that his injured right knee felt 'really good.' He is expected to join the Blue Jays in Cincinnati Friday where they will begin a three-game series with the Reds.

On the Rochester side, Alemao Hernandez made his Triple-A debut on the mound and was greeted with offense early and often. Bichette's first-inning home run got the scoring starting for the Bisons and they never looked back from there. Orlevis Martinez and Luis De Los Santos each recorded an RBI single in the third to extend the lead out to 4-0.

The struggles for Hernandez continued in the fourth. Jamie Ritchie worked a walk followed by base hits from Cameron Eden and Rafael Lantigua spelled the end of the line for the lefty. Joel Peguero was able to stem the tide but not before a pair of sacrifice flies from Bichette and Martinez made it a 6-0 game. From there the damage had been done as Rochester was never able to claw back into the game.

The Red Wings were given a golden opportunity in the fifth to do just that, however. Richie Martin, Cody Wilson, and Darren Baker all worked aboard to lead off the inning bringing Luis Garcia to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out. Garcia bounced into a 6-4-3 double play and although Martin scored on the play it essentially sucked all the life from Rochester. The Red Wings would fail to record a hit the rest of the way.

Red Wings catcher Drew Millas was the only Red Wing to reach more than once in the loss, working two walks. (Photo: Rochester Red Wings/Joe Territo)

"That was a big at-bat and Luis, he wants to be better and I think he wants to get it quick. He seemed to be a bit frustrated after that at-bat but I feel like he's getting closer. That was a big spot and we just didn't get it done," Red Wings Manager Matthew LeCroy said.

Wes Parsons got the start and earned his sixth win of the season on the mound for Buffalo working five innings allowing four hits and one run with six strikeouts and two walks. It was Parsons' second win of the season against Rochester following up a six-inning, two-run, eight-strikeout showing on July 7.

"You got to tip your cap, he had a pretty good mix going. His breaking ball wasn't as good tonight as it was at home but his changeup was better and his fastball command was good. We just couldn't string anything together," LeCroy said.

Buffalo tacked on its seventh and final run of the night in the eighth as they put the finishing touches on a convincing effort to tie the series up at one game apiece.

Rochester will send Wily Peralta (3-7, 6.30) to the mound Friday as they look for a bounce-back effort. Buffalo is expected to send Mitch White (0-2, 10.68) to the mound for game three of the Thruway Series bout. The first pitch from Sahlen Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Bichette was hitting .321 with 17 home runs, 50 runs, and 59 RBI for the Toronto Blue Jays prior to his right knee injury on July 31. (Photo: Buffalo Bisons)

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