In his deadpan, sarcastic manner, Gary Allenson quipped about the final at-bat of the night for Anthony Gose.
The center fielder had come to the plate in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game. There were two outs. And in his last eight at-bats, Gose had struck out all eight times.
“He had them set up didn’t he?” Allenson said.
Gose drove in Matt Hague with the winning run in ninth to give the Herd a 5-4 win over the Rochester Red Wings in front of 7,827 Wednesday night.
The win keeps the Herd three games back of Pawtucket in the International League wild-card chase.
The hit broke Gose out of a slump since being optioned back to the Herd on Aug. 15.
“If anybody was due it was Anthony Gose. So that’s nice,” Allenson said. “It’s not easy to strike out eight times a row there and go through that … it probably didn’t bother him.”
Well, maybe it bothered him a little bit, as indicated during his brief postgame interview.
“You’re 0 for 8 with eight punchouts and your last at-bat in the big leagues was a strikeout, how would you feel?” Gose said. “Probably not too good.”
His swing sure looked good on the winning hit. He drove the first pitch he saw to deep center field, going just off the glove of Rochester’s Aaron Hicks.
“Try to put the ball in play for once. I mean that’s where I was,” Gose said. “Just try to put it in play.”
It was Gose’s second game back with the Bisons since his latest option.
The outfielder has been recalled by the Toronto Blue Jays five times this year. In 69 games with the big league club, he’s hit .234 and driven in nine runs. In 40 games with the Bisons, he now has 12 RBIs.
Gose’s gone back and forth between the Jays and Herd so many times that one might characterize this as a challenging season for him.
“I think it’s probably only challenging when he comes down here,” Allenson said. “I think it’s a little less challenging up in Toronto. He’s a different breed. He’s the kinda guy who likes to test me a little bit there, but I can handle it.”
While Gose was being, well, Anthony Gose, Hague made his Bisons debut on his 29th birthday. Claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Hague slid nicely into the lineup starting at third base. He drove in two runs in the sixth. His lead-off single in the ninth set the stage for Gose’s game-winning hit.
Buffalo took a 4-2 lead in the sixth. Rochester cut it to a run in the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Hicks. The Red Wings tied the game in the eighth when reliever Steve Delabar gave up a run on a wild pitch, but the defense came through with some solid plays to limit the damage.
Bisons starter Brett Mills had a quality outing. He gave up two runs on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts in six innings.
Outfielder Kevin Pillar was out of the lineup for the second straight game, and Allenson said the slugger injured himself on the team’s off-day on Monday.
“He has some stitches in his elbow there,” Allenson said. “He’s probably a couple days away.”
Outfielder Dalton Pompey was promoted from Double-A New Hampshire. The 21-year-old started the season with Single-A Dunedin, where he batted .319 with 49 runs scored, six home runs, 34 runs batted in and 29 stolen bases. The Bisons placed Andy LaRoche and Jared Goedert on the disabled list.
The Bisons continue their homestand, opening a two-game series tonight (7:05 p.m., Radio 1520) against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Lefty Daniel Norris (2-0, 0.77) will start for Buffalo against lefty Nik Turley (3-2, 5.12).