For the second time in three games, the Buffalo Bisons walked off Coca-Cola Field with a win. Sunday afternoon it was Casey Kotchman with an RBI single to drive in the winning run with one out in the ninth as the Herd defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox, 2-1.
The Herd had tied the game in the fourth on a double from Matt Dominguez as both team's starting pitchers went toe-to-toe.
Buffalo's Wade LeBlanc gave up one unearned run on five hits in seven innings. Pawtucket's William Cuevas gave up one run on four hits in six innings as both pitchers took the no-decision.
"Both pitchers on their A-game, throwing strikes, mixing it up," Bisons manager Gary Allenson said. "LeBlanc had an outstanding changeup today. He utilized it just enough. Their guy was mixing it up real well. He was throwing four pitches in any count and we had a tough time. We got guys on base, fortunately got one in there and held on until the ninth."
The ninth inning: Ryan Tepera (1-1) picked up the win pitching the ninth. He struck out the first two batters then gave up a hit, but Bisons catcher A.J. Jimenez made a perfect throw to second to catch Deven Marrero stealing and end the half inning. Jesus Montero led off the bottom with a single. With one out Dominguez singled followed by Kotchman.
Pinch runner: Credit Alexi Casilla with the winning run scored. He went in to pinch run for Montero. He also scored the winning run as a pinch runner in the Herd's 6-5 walk-off win on Friday. In all five instances Casilla as been used as a pinch runner, he has scored.
Devon Travis: It was the second baseman's fourth MLB rehab game with the Bisons and first time he played nine innings. In the first he worked an 0-2 count into a 2-2 line drive to center field for a base hit. He was 0 for 3 after that with a flyout and two ground outs.
Aaron Loup: In his first MLB rehab appearance with the Herd reliever Aaron Loup pitched a a scoreless eighth giving up one hit. "He threw strikes. That’s important," Allenson said. "I think he struggled the first couple of times in rehab in A-ball throwing a lot of pitches and stuff but he was around the plate. He never pitched in a spring training game so it’s spring training for him right now. That’s as good as we need."
Good weather: All right, so some of the nights have been cold and windy but here's the thing about the first 21 home games for the Buffalo Bisons -- they've all played out as scheduled. Not one postponement. Not even one delay. That's not usual for spring baseball in downtown Buffalo. Overall, the Herd had three road games postponed with one still waiting to be made up. They were rained out May 1 at Lehigh Valley and will be made up as part of a doubleheader in Allentown on June 18.
Roster moves: The Blue Jays activated Bo Schultz off his MLB injury rehabilitation assignment and optioned the reliever to the Bisons. In three rehab appearances with the Herd, Schultz had a 16.20 ERA, allowing seven earned runs over 3 1/3 innings. Reliever David Aardsma was reassigned to extended spring training. In 14 appearances he was 0-1 with a 5.27 ERA giving up eight runs over 13 2/3 innings with nine walks and 14 strikeout.
Up next: The Herd is off on Monday and begins a six-game road trip on Tuesday. They will play three games in Columbus then three in Toledo before returning to Coca-Cola Field at 4:05 p.m. Monday, May 30 to host the Clippers.