Bisons rally for fifth straight win
By: Mike Rose
The Buffalo Bisons continued their recent hot streak as they defeated the Rochester Red Wings 7-4. The victory was Buffalo's fifth in a row and seventh win in their last eight contests. It was a balanced offensive attack that led the way as seven of the nine starters for the Bisons recorded at least one hit. Bisons manager Casey Candaele credited his team's fight in another come from behind victory.
"They just don't give up and they have great at-bats. The players were confident and we just keep believing and keep pushing. It's been nice recently," Candaele said.
After a scoreless first two innings, Rochester jumped out to a lead in the third. Richie Martin and Darren Baker were able to work walks before Jake Alu ripped an RBI double to put the Red Wings ahead 1-0. Carter Kieboom would then work a walk before Travis Blankenhorn delivered a two-run double. It was the eighth consecutive game in which the Red Wings scored first. This was the only damage the Red Wings would do against starter Drew Hutchinson who allowed only those three runs despite walking six and allowing three hits across five innings. Red Wings manager Matt LeCroy believed his team missed an opportunity not pushing across more runs in the inning.
"We only scored three but we should've scored more. We them off the hook, we let the starter (Hutchinson) off the hook. We ran his pitch count up early which was awesome and we have a chance to really put the dagger in them and we fail to score with the bases loaded and one out which kept them in it," LeCroy said.
Rochester's inability to cash in and mount a bigger lead was quickly a problem as the Bisons broke through in the bottom of the fourth. Jordan Luplow led off the inning with a hard hit double. Wynton Bernard then hit an infield single before Otto Lopez walked to load the bases. Red Wings starter Wily Peralta would then be called for a balk allowing the first Buffalo run to score. Later in that same at bat Davis Schneider flew out to deep center field to score Bernard. Lopez tagged up and advanced to third on the play and the relay throw from Baker went out of play allowing Lopez to score and the bases to clear and tie the game at 3 without the Bisons even recording a hit.
In the fifth the Bisons quickly loaded the bases again and pushed across the go ahead run on a fielder's choice ground ball from Bernard that scored Ernie Clement. After a walk to the next batter Lopez, Red Wings starter Wily Peralta would exit. The veteran Peralta finished the day allowing four runs, three earned, on four hits and five walks, striking out two.
Buffalo threatened again in the sixth before blowing the game open in the seventh. All nine batters came to the plate in the inning as Buffalo pushed three more runs across, the big blow coming on a bases loaded two-run single from Tyler Heineman.
The score held there until a late push in the ninth from the Red Wings which saw them get the tying run to the plate in the form of Kieboom. However they could only muster one run before Blanekenhorn struck out to end the game. Hutchinson was credited with the victory while Peralta was given the loss. Paul Fry earned a one out save by recording the final out of the evening.
With the win the Bisons move to 19-21 on the season while the Red Wings fall to 15-23 with the loss. They'll square off for game two of the six game series at Sahlen Field Wednesday, May 17 with a scheduled first pitch of 6:05pm.