ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The Buffalo Bisons missed a chance to make a good-sized move in the International League wild-card race by splitting a doubleheader on Monday with Lehigh Valley.
The Bisons won the first game, 5-2, but dropped the nightcap, 3-2, after the IronPigs scored two runs in the seventh inning. The Herd moved within 2½ games in the race for the IL’s lone wild-card spot.
Norfolk (72-64) sits atop the wild-card standing with Rochester (72-65) a half-game behind. Norfolk defeated Gwinnett on Monday, 13-1, while Rochester lost to Syracuse, 12-5. The Bisons are 70-67 with seven games remaining.
The Herd led, 2-1, in the seventh inning of the nightcap when reliever Mickey Storey replaced Justin Germano. Lehigh Valley’s Michael Martinez singled to right and moved to second after a sacrifice bunt. Cameron Rupp reached on a throwing error by Bisons shortstop Mike McCoy and Michael Martinez moved to third, placing runners on the corners. After Rupp was replaced by Miguel Abreu, Derrick Mitchell singled on a line drive to left to scored Martinez, then Freddy Galvis ended the game with a line drive to right to score Abreu.
The Herd led the opener, 1-0, in the fifth when they padded their lead with three runs. Ricardo Nanita singled to right, then Luis Jimenez singled on a bunted ball toward third. Ryan Langerhans doubled to left to score Nanita, and Blake Gailen’s sacrifice fly to right scored Jimenez.
Langerhans scored on a line drive to left by Mike McCoy and the Bisons led, 4-2.
Elsewhere, Bisons catcher Sean Ochinko has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for an amphetamine, the commissioner’s office announced Monday.
Ochinko was suspended following a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension is effective immediately
The Bisons play the IronPigs again at 7:05 tonight (Radio 1520 AM).