Scranton/Wilkes-Barre made it a clean sweep over the Buffalo Bisons, Sunday night. The RailRiders took the Independence Eve game, 3-2, at Coca-Cola Field to win all four games in the series.
That gives the RailRiders an eight-game win streak and a six game lead over the Bisons in the International League North Division.
The Herd, who came into this home series on a nine-game winning streak. They've now dropped four straight heading back on to the road, where they have a 25-17 record. Buffalo is just 21-21 at home.
Rally: The Herd put on a rally in the ninth. Trailing, 3-2 with one out, Domonic Brown hit a bloop to right that was dropped by Cesar Puello. Melky Mesa flew out to deep center for the second out bringing up Casey Kotchman who singled to left. Tony Sanchez drew a walk to load the bases but Alexi Casilla popped up to left on the first pitch to end the game.
The last at-bat: Would manager Gary Allenson liked to have seen Casilla take a pitch in that last at-bat? "No," Allenson said. "He took a pitch last time and it looked like it was right there. Now maybe that wasn't a strike but sometimes the best pitch you get is the first one you see and he just got under it. He hit a ball good to left field just on the warning track. I'm not going to second-guess. I'd rather see him be aggressive than take and get in a hole."
Streak ends: Ben Rowen gave up two runs in the fourth inning. It the first time since May 8 (56 days, 18 games) that he had allowed a run to score.
Hot-hitting Montero: Jesus Montero had two singles to give him his eighth multi-hit performance in his last 11 games. He scored the Herd's run in the second, stealing third then going home when the third-baseman failed to field the throw from the catcher cleanly. "Making adjustments every single time," Montero said of his recent success at the plate. "You guys can see that the Yankees aren't easy. They've got good pitching, good hitting. They've been doing everything right. It's been hard for us but I've been feeling good. Trying to do my routine every single day in the cage. Trying to hit the ball every single time."
Scoring in unconventional ways: Montero scored on an error then in the fifth, Casey Kotchman scored from third on a dropped third strike that rolled to the backstop allowing Darrell Ceciliani to safely reach first. That made both of Buffalo's runs unearned.
Independence Eve Veteran: Bobby Korecky pitched in his seventh July 3 game at Coca-Cola Field. He was a reliever with Rochester in this game from 2006-08 and the last three years with Buffalo.
Nick Swisher: The first baseman and designated hitter who was with Scranton announced on Facebook Saturday afternoon that he was opting out of his minor league deal. "After the birth of my second child, I've decided to take a step back and spend the reason of the season full time with my wife and two daughters," he wrote. "Make no mistake, I am not hanging it up. I love this game with the same amount of passion that I had as a rookie 12 years ago." Swisher, who was released by the Atlanta Braves at the end of spring training, agreed to a minor-league deal with the Yankees on April 13.
Roster moves: The Bisons activated RHP Bo Schultz who was optioned by the Blue Jays on Saturday. RHP Roberto Hernandez was released. Hernandez had gone 4-4 in 13 starts for the Herd with a 4.42 earned run average.
Counting the house: There were 17,232 at Coca-Cola Field Sunday night. That's the largest crowd for the Independence Eve Celebration with the Buffalo Philharmonic since 2011.
Up next: The Bisons are on the road for the next four, playing two games in Rochester on Monday and Tuesday and then playing two against Scranton in Moosic, Pa., on Wednesday and Thursday.