The Buffalo Bisons’ long grind toward a winning record finally got there Tuesday night at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio.
Catcher A.J. Jimenez hit a three-run homer in the top of the eighth inning to bring the Herd a 7-4 victory over the Columbus Clippers in front of 7,680 in the opener of a three-game series and the first game of a seven-game Ohio road trip.
After trailing 3-0, the Bisons battled back to win their 12th in the last 17 games and push their International League record to 23-22. It’s the first time all season Buffalo has been over .500.
He hits too: Jimenez, who is valued for his defense, batted ninth in the order Tuesday night. With one out and two on in the eighth, he drove a Jeff Johnson pitch over the fence in left to snap a 4-4 tie and give the Bisons their second lead of the game. It was the second homer of the season for the 24-year-old backstop.
Bullpen does job: After starter Roberto Hernandez was touched for four runs in five innings, the Buffalo bullpen (Ben Rowen, Aaron Loup, Bo Schultz and Dustin Antolin) shut out the Clips on one hit the rest of the way.
Clips play long ball, too: Two of the Columbus runs came on solo homers off Hernandez. Michael Choice hit one in the fourth to make it 3-0. After the Bisons had taken a 4-3 lead, Adam Moore knotted it in the sixth.
Next: Right-hander Chris Leroux (2-3, 3.79) gets the start for the Bisons against Will Roberts (4-1, 3.00) Wednesday night (Radio 1520, 6:35 p.m.)