Buffalo dominates in series finale
By: Mike Rose
The Buffalo Bisons used another quick start to defeat the Rochester Red Wings 11-4. The victory was Buffalo's tenth win in its last thirteen games and capped off a 9-3 homestand. The Bisons continue to try and climb back up the standings as they sit 9.5 games behind first Norfolk in the International League East standings in the first half which is slated to end on June 25.
Buffalo pounded out 16 hits in the game as they continued to flex their offensive firepower. During the homestand, Buffalo has averaged nearly eight runs per game. With the recent surge the Bisons now rank seventh in the International League in runs scored.
Rochester initially got the scoring started in the top of the first with an infield single from Darren Baker followed by an RBI double from Jake Alu. The good start would quickly dissipate however in the bottom half of the inning.
Buffalo got things started with a single from Tanner Morris to extend his hitting streak to nine games. The next batter Davis Schneider launched a two-run home run for his second big fly in as many days and his team-leading eighth of the year. Wynton Bernard would follow with a walk and a steal of second base before Jamie Ritchie would drive him in with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
In the bottom of the second, the Bisons offense continued to add on. Luis De Los Santos led off with a base hit before Cameron Eden worked a walk. Morris would come through with an RBI single and Schneider followed by driving in his third run of the game. Bernard would deliver his second hit of the game to score Morris and make it a 6-1 game. Rob Brantley would be credited with an RBI reaching on a fielder's choice on a slow rolling ball to shortstop Franklin Barreto. LJ Talley's RBI single made it an 8-1 game and officially ended Wily Peralta's day.
It was another day in which starting pitching for the Red Wings put them in a hole early on. Peralta only managed to complete 1.1 innings giving up eight runs on eight hits and three walks. It was the second consecutive day that a Rochester starting pitcher managed only 1.1 innings after Cory Abbott produced a similar line in Saturday's loss. Rochester ended the six-game set with Buffalo with a starting pitching earned run average over 10.
Unlike Rochester, Buffalo's starting pitching helped lead the way once again. Drew Hutchinson got the nod and delivered his best start of the season striking out nine over five innings and allowing just one run on three hits and a walk. Hutchinson felt like he was able to execute all of his pitches in the win.
"Just did a good job of executing pitches and staying aggressive. I kind of found my release point today finally with my fastball and my slider, threw some really good changeups also. I think I was just able to execute pitches well today," Hutchinson said.
The Bisons would tack on an additional run on in the fourth and two more in the seventh to extend the lead to 11-1. Despite a late push from the Red Wings on the night that saw three runs come around to score Buffalo cruised to the finish line. Bisons manager Casey Candaele hopes his team can continue to build on this momentum.
"We gotta just keep grinding it out. It's never easy, you don't get content. You just have to got to bring it every day and show up to the park and do your job and hopefully, things will turn out right for you. If we can do what we're doing right now and play good defense and pitch well that's a success. Usually when you do those things that brings wins," Candaele said.
Buffalo ended the day with five players producing multi-hit efforts. Bernard went 3-for-4 with a double, a pair of walks, three runs, and an RBI. Morris added three hits, two runs, and an RBI, all of which came in the first three innings. Ritchie finished with three hits, a run, and two RBI while Schneider did his damage in the opening two frames with two hits, and three RBI. Candeale credited his team being a tough out one through nine in the order.
"I try to play everybody and give them opportunities. We put together good at-bats up and down the lineup and that wears on a pitcher. They all are similar in how they grind out at-bats and make pitchers work to get them out," Candaele said.
The Bisons move to 22-23 on the season with the win while Rochester falls to 17-26 with the loss. Both teams will head on the road with each with a six-game series set to begin Tuesday. Rochester will take on the Toldeo Mudhens while Buffalo will visit the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.