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Herd returns home after 6-2 trip

Returning from their first road trip of the season, the Buffalo Bisons have plenty of reasons to smile.

The Herd opens its homestand at Dunn Tire Park tonight against Pawtucket after going 6-2 on its road trip.

The team earned a series split with Toledo on Friday with 6-5 win over the Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field.

Buffalo fell behind, 5-2, but inched its way back.

The Herd cut its deficit to 5-3 in the sixth inning when Joe Inglett's single to left scored Franklin Gutierrez.

Buffalo tied the game, 5-5, in the seventh when Hector Luna doubled in Keith Ginter and Gutierrez singled in Luna.

"I think Franklin Gutierrez had the key at-bat," Herd manager Torey Lovullo said. "Franklin battled hard, got the barrel [of the bat] on the ball and got the key single. From that point forward . . . we felt we would have a solid chance of scoring some more runs."

Buffalo got the winning run in the eighth inning when Shin-Soo Choo drew a walk, then moved around the bases on a bunt and deep fly ball. Choo scored when Luna reached safely on a fielding error by shortstop Ramon Santiago.

"This was a great game for us," Gutierrez said. "We fought and came back an inning at a time. That's the way we have to play. We have to do the little things, try to score runs in every inning. And that's what we did tonight."

Jim Ed Warden picked up his first win, pitching two scoreless relief innings with three strikeouts. Edward Mujica earned his fifth save, pitching to three batters in the ninth. He threw 13 pitches -- 10 for strikes -- and struck out two.

The Bisons kick off their homestand against the Red Sox (6:05 p.m., Radio 1230, 1330 AM). Left-hander Cliff Lee will start for the Herd as he joins the squad on an injury rehabilitation assignment. Lee, who missed all of spring training with a strained right abdominal muscle, is expected to throw 70 pitches before scheduled starter Rafael Perez takes over.

Lee was 14-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 33 starts for the Cleveland Indians last season. Over the last three seasons, he is 46-24, 4.50 in 98 starts with the Tribe.

Buffalo hosts Pawtucket today through Monday, then entertains Syracuse on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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