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  • Writer's pictureBrayden Peters

Cancel, Clarke and Bisons survive Red Wings

Updated: Jul 3

By: Brayden Peters


BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Buffalo Bisons took the Rochester Red Wings to the dog pound on one of the Tops Dog Days at the Park. The Bisons came back from a 5-0 deficit to beat Rochester 8-7. Buffalo's offense were heavily powered by catcher Phil Clarke and newest edition Gabriel Cancel. They combined for five of the Bisons' 10 hits.


"I mean, we played well, we gave up some runs early, but you know the guys battled back," Bisons manager Casey Candaele said. "Two strong innings, the second one was really big scoring four runs with two outs. So you know, the guys did a good job of swinging the bats and battling their way back into a game and then taking the lead."


Clarke ended the day going 3-for-5 at the plate while picking up 3 RBI and getting struck out once. One of his hits was a home run, which is the first of his Triple-A career.


"Yeah, I mean, it feels great," Clarke said. "You know off the bat I knew I hit it well...You know, I didn't think it was going up that much, but when it goes over the fence, you know that's a feeling unlike any other in baseball. It's a great feeling, you know, a lot of relief for me."


With Clarke's three hits, he tied his Triple-A career high in hits in a game. He had the same figure yesterday in Buffalo's 8-3 win over the Syracuse Mets.


Clarke waits for a pitch to be throw. Photo Credit: Buffalo Bisons Baseball

As for Cancel, he finished his night going 2-for-3 at the plate while recording two RBI and getting walked once. He also recorded a home run for the third straight game.


"I hope it continues the whole year," Candaele said. "He's been big for us so far and he's swinging the bat that well and you know, hopefully he can sustain that."


The Red Wings had a strong day on offense, ending the day with 10 hits as well. The offense, though, was mostly silent for the back half of the game as they only recorded two hits between the fifth and ninth innings.


Rochester got on the board first in the second inning in classic Juan Yepez fashion. He hit a dinger out into left field to give the Red Wings an early 1-0 lead. The hit extends Yepez's hitting streak to 14 games.


Although the Red Wings were held scoreless in the third inning, they extended their lead in the fourth. A double from Jackson Cluff allowed Travis Blakenhorn and Trey Lipscomb to score. Cluff's double extended his on base streak to three games.


Blakenhorn got on base thanks to a single, increasing his hitting streak to three games. As for Lipscomb, a single allowed him to get to first safely, upping his hitting streak to four games.


The scoring in the fourth didn't end for Rochester. Darren Baker recorded a two-run single to increase the Red Wings lead to 5-0. This was after Alex Call reached base on balls and Dylan Crews got to first from a wild pitch that Clarke was unable to handle.


If he handled it, it would've been the third out of the inning. These critical defensive mistakes aren't new for Buffalo, as they plagued the team in their series loss against the Mets last week.


"We have to clean it up," Candaele said. "We are not a team that can make mistakes and power our way back into games. We have to play well defensively and pitch well...Anytime we give teams more opportunities, you know, that kind of puts you in a tough position. Pitchers have to throw more pitchers, you have to use more pitchers. So, you know, we have to play better."


Buffalo's offense woke up in the fifth inning. A single from Steward Berroa drove in Alan Roden and Rafael Lantigua to cut into the Red Wings' lead. Yepez had trouble handling the ball, allowing Berroa to get the single. Roden got on base thanks to a walk while Lantigua picked up a single.


The Bisons continued to remain red hot in the fifth. Clarke hit a two-run homer out towards right field, cutting the Red Wings' lead to 5-4.


"I think you know, the whole game we started off slow and every inning we were like, 'Come on guys. Here we go. Here we go,'" Clarke said. "Like we knew we had a lot of belief. We could get to that guy and I think you know, once somebody gets on and then another guy gets on, you know, hitting is contagious."


Buffalo carried their momentum into the sixth inning. With two outs, Steward Berroa batted in Cam Eden on a single to cut the deficit to one run. Eden got on base thanks to a double.


Then, Cancel hit a dinger out towards right field, which also sent Berroa and Clarke home to allow Buffalo to take a 8-5 lead. Clarke got on base thanks to a single.


Berroa prepares for a pitch to be throw. Photo Credit: Buffalo Bisons Baseball

Rochester tried to hang with Buffalo in the ninth. With the bases loaded, Connor Cooke walked Lipscomb to send Baker across the plate.


Cluff then made it to first on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded allowing Riley Adams to pick up a run for the Red Wings. However, Yepez struck out before Call got out on another fielder's choice that served as out number three.


"You know, they battle and they're tough and they don't give up and they don't get down when things don't go well," Candaele said. "So, you know, that's a positive. That's a really good value to have as a team to continue to battle and continue to fight and not give up."


Buffalo improves to a 40-41 overall record with the win and are now 3-4 in the second half of the season. Since the beginning of the second half, they are seventh in the IL East.


As for Rochester, they drop to a 43-37 overall record and a 5-2 second half record. They remain first in the IL East in the second half.


The Bisons will look to extend their winning streak to three games when they host Rochester tomorrow at 6:35 p.m. Chad Dallas (2-2, 5.55) will get the start on the mound for Buffalo while Andrew Alvarez (0-2, 6.28) will be the starting pitcher for the Red Wings. It will be the final day of the Report Card Days and Free Kids Ticket at Box Office.

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