What looked like a laugher quickly turned into a squeaker Sunday as the Buffalo Bisons held off the Omaha Royals, 12-11, to complete a three-game series sweep.
Buffalo jumped to a 12-1 lead before Omaha rallied for 10 runs in its final three at-bats in front of 5,948 at Rosenblatt Stadium. Omaha scored six runs in the seventh, three in the eighth and one in the ninth. The Royals had the tying run on second base with two outs when Bison reliever Darryl Scott speared Steve Sisco's line drive to end the game.
Buffalo scored 32 runs in the series, and it was the first time in the Bisons' 13-year American Association history they scored in double figures three games in a row. The Herd now leads the Eastern Division by 8 1/2 games over second-place Nashville.
Buffalo took a 5-0 lead in the first inning as Jeff Manto blasted a three-run homer, his 20th of the season, and Torey Lovullo added a solo shot. The Bisons added three more in the third and a two-run homer in the fifth by Mike Busch made it 10-0.
Lovullo's RBI single in the sixth made it 11-0. Trenidad Hubbard had three hits and drove in the Bisons' 12th run on a fielder's choice grounder.
Omaha's Yamil Benitez had a three-run home run in the eighth to make it 12-10. The home run highlighted Benitez' 5-for-5 performance with five RBIs.
Bisons starter Steve Kline (3-2) picked up the win, despite giving up 12 hits and six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.
The Bisons begin a three-game series with the Iowa Cubs tonight in Des Moines (8:15, Radio 550). Roland DeLaMaza (7-0) is the scheduled starter.