When the opposition bats .625 leading off innings, you can expect to lose.
The Scranton-Wilkes-Barre RailRiders hit safely to start their last five innings Sunday afternoon and took a 3-1 victory o ver the Buffalo Bisons in their International League game at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa.
By winning, the New York Yankees affiliate avoided being swept in six straight games to start the season series between tie International League North Division rivals. Buffalo (7-3) opened the season with a three-game sweep of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Coca-Cola Field and won the first two games on Friday and Saturday in this three-game set. The RailRiders are the defending I.L. and Triple-A champions.
The Bisons will get an early season schedule break with an off day Monday before opening a six-game home stand against the Norfolk on Tuesday night followed by a three-game series against the Columbus Clippers starting Friday.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was just 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position on Sunday, but one of those was an RBI single by ex Bisons catcher Wilson Castillo in the seventh innng. That scored Ruben Tejada, who had opened the inning with a double.
Losing pitcher Mike Bolsinger (0-1) had escaped a sixth-inning jam after Dustin Fowler greeted him with a leadoff triple. Bolsinger had started the inning in relief of Brett Oberholtzer who left a 1-1 tie game.
The RailRiders added a run in the eighth. Again, Fowler led off with a hit, a single to center. He came home on a triple by Rob Refsnyder. A one-out walk, a single by Castillo and an RBI single by Clint Frazier accounted for the run off Oberholtzer, tying the game at 1-1 in the third inning.
Smitty does it: Dwight Smith Jr. led off the second with a walk, s tole second and came home on a two-out double by Gregorio Petit for the lone Bisons run.
No rally: Once the RailRiders had taken the lead, there was not Bisons comeback. Six Buffalo batters were retired in a row in the eighth and ninth inning -- three on strikeouts -- by Scranton relievers Chasen Shreve in the eighth and Ben Heller in the ninth. Right-hander Chad Green (1-1) picked up the win.
Right of way: Five of the Bisons seven wins have come when the opponent started a left-hander. The Herd is 2-3 when a righty starts.
Pitching in tough luck: Oberholtzer still has no decision on his record as starting pitcher for the Bisons despite allowing just one run, three walks and striking out 10 in nine innings so far. He pitched four shutout innings in the 5-0 loss to Rochester, last Tuesday, the Herd's first loss of the season after four wins.
Cooling off: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pitching managed to cool off the Bisons' bats. The Herd had only six hits and struck out 10 times in Sunday's loss after the 10-run explosion in Saturday's victory.
Counting the house: The RailRiders announced an official attendance of 3,196 on a sunny Easter Sunday at PNC field with 75-degree temperatures.
Coming up: Right-hander Casey Lawrence (0-0, 0.00) is scheduled to get the start for the Bisons in Tuesday's series opener against Norfolk. Right-hander Gabriel Ynoa (0-2) is listed for the Tides, an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.. Norfolk is coming off a three-game home sweep over the Charlotte Knights, including Sunday's 5-4 walk-off win on Johnny Giovatella's two-run triple in the bottom of the ninth.