ROCHESTER – Dan Johnson is no stranger to home run competitions. The Buffalo Bisons’ slugger is a past Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby champion, achieving the feat while playing for the Durham Bulls during the all-star extravaganza at Lehigh Valley.
Johnson, the International League’s home run leader, will look to add another title to his mantle Monday as he was one of six selected for this year’s Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby, which takes place at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Johnson leads the IL lead with 17 homers and had belted 294 during his 14 professional seasons, including 56 at the big-league level.
His biggest homer came in the season finale in 2011 for Tampa Bay, when his pinch-hit shot with two outs in the ninth forced extra innings in a game the Rays won to slip into the playoffs as the American League’s wild-card qualifier.
Johnson also finished second in the Triple-A Home Run Derby in 2012 at Coca-Cola Field, losing out to then-Bison Valentino Pascucci.
Johnson’s competition in this year’s Derby include ex-Bisons Mike Hessman of Toledo and Mike Jacobs of Reno, Jesus Aguilar of Columbus, Las Vegas’ Allan Dykstra and Omaha’s Francisco Pena.
During Tuesday’s game at Frontier Field, Johnson (1 for 4) tried to spark a ninth-inning rally with a leadoff single, but Ryan Pressly retired the next three hitters he faced to preserve Rochester’s 3-2 comeback win over the Herd.
An announced crowd of 3,420 saw the Red Wings take the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth on Wilkin Ramirez’s sacrifice fly to center. The shot was just deep enough to allow James Beresford to score from third. He reached via a one-out double and then took third on Deibinson Romero’s single.
The Bisons appealed the play that enabled Beresford to score as they believed he left the base just a tad early but that was to no avail.
Esmil Rogers fell to 2-2, as he yielded three runs and six hits while striking out four in 7∏ innings of work.
Buffalo took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on Ryan Goins’ one-out, two-run single to right. But the Herd, which got the first three batters of the inning on base, failed to break the game open as Kevin Pillar grounded sharply into a 6-4-3 double play.
The Red Wings tied it in the bottom of the fifth on Doug Bernier’s single that plated Pedro Florimon.
Liam Hendriks (6-1, 2.19 ERA) starts for the Herd today (7:05 p.m., TWCS, Radio 1520 AM) against Logan Darnell (4-4, 3.15).
Brad Glenn rejoined the Bisons after clearing waivers. The outfielder played six games during his first big-league stint with Toronto, but had just one hit in 15 at-bats. He hit .377 with 22 RBIs in 31 games with the Bisons before his call-up.
The Herd placed righty P.J. Walters on the temporarily inactive list.