The game is starting to come together for the Buffalo Bisons. Solid pitching from starter Roberto Hernandez and timely hitting helped the Herd take their second straight against the Syracuse Chiefs. It was a 4-2 win for the Herd at Coca-Cola Field Sunday afternoon as the Bisons split the series with the IL North Division leaders.
Hernandez picked up his first win of the season for the Herd going 5 2/3 innings with six strike outs and two unearned runs. Dalton Pompey had a pair of hits including a two-run double.
With the win the Herd improved to 13-17 and moved 4 1/2 games behind first-place Syracuse (17-12).
Going yard: Domonic Brown slugged his fifth home run of the season, knocking the first pitch he saw from Syracuse starter A.J. Cole to right field. That two-out homer gave the Bisons a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Leaving 'em loaded: The Herd loaded the bases in the third with singles from David Adams, Dalton Pompey and a two-out walk from Brown. But Jesus Montero grounded into a fielder's choice at short to end the inning.
Error-filled inning: The Bisons committed two fielding errors in the fourth which allowed Syracuse to take a 2-1 lead. It started with a one-out throwing error by Bisons third baseman Matt Dominguez which allowed Scott Sizemore to reach first. Back-to-back hits by Matt den Dekker and Matt Skole scored a run. A fielding error from shortstop Jio Mier allowed Jason Martinson to reach and den Dekker to score from third.
Taking advantage of walks: A pair of walks helped the Bisons tie the game in the fourth. Syracuse starter A.J. Cole walked Casey Kotchman and A.J. Jimenez. Then a two-out single from Mier scored Kotchman to knot the game, 2-2.
Doubling up: Dalton Pompey kept the rally going in the fourth with a two-out, two-run double off the left field wall. That gave the herd a 4-2 lead.
Beauty outing: Roberto Hernandez threw a dandy in his third start with the Herd. He allowed just two hits with six strike outs and no walks over 5 2/3 innings. The two runs on his watch were both unearned. It was the first win for Hernandez with the Bisons since Aug. 29, 2006 when he pitched three innings in relief in a 9-1 win over Ottawa at Coca-Cola Field. His last win as a starter for the Herd came Sept. 3, 2005 when he gave up three runs in seven innings in Ottawa.
The hits keep coming: David Adams extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a leadoff single in the third inning. He is hitting .480 (12 for 25) in that time including drawing seven walks.
Ceremonial first pitch: The final of the ceremonial first pitches went to Darlene Rowan, the mother of Bisons relief pitcher Ben Rowan. Darlene, however, did not throw submarine style like her son. Rowan's parents live in East Aurora.
"I was told about a week ago so I thought about holding out to the day before just to scare her a little," said Rowan about telling his mom about the first pitch toss on the Bisons pre-game radio show. "I told her a few days in advance and we went out in the backyard yesterday and played some catch."
Rowan came on n relief Sunday pitching 1 1/3 innings of hitless ball with two strike outs.
Counting the house: The official paid attendance was 5,420. The actual crowd was a little lighter with cool temperatures at Coca-Cola Field Sunday afternoon.
Up next: The Bisons start a seven-game road trip. They start with a four-game set at Durham at 7:05 p.m. Monday with righty Arnold Leon (0-0, 3.86) scheduled to start for the Herd with Durham starting lefty Justin Marks (0-2, 3.38).