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Bisons top Bats on Gomez HR in eighth

LOUISVILLE – Mauro Gomez launched a three-run homer in the eighth inning to lift the Buffalo Bisons over the Louisville Bats, 5-4, Monday night at Louisville Slugger Field.

The victory enabled the Herd to clinch its season series with the Bats, five games to three. The teams won’t meet again during the International League regular season. Buffalo is 14-4 on the road, a .777 percentage.

After twice taking one-run leads, Buffalo fell behind 4-2 when Louisville scored twice in the seventh inning, Billy Hamilton, who singled three times, stole two bases and scored three of the four Bats runs, was in the middle of the Louisville rally.

Buffalo, however, turned things around quickly against Louisville reliever Jose Diaz. Jim Negrych led off by striking out – he was 0 for 4 with one intentional walk and saw his batting average drop from .433 to .417 – before Moises Sierra doubled. Luis Jimenez drew a walk before Gomez homered to right field.

Bisons reliever Buddy Carlyle set the Bats down in order in the eighth, getting the pesky Hamilton on a bunt attempt for the third out. Neil Wagner retired three straight Bats in the ninth after giving up a leadoff single to Henry Rodriguez.

The Herd took a 1-0 lead in the first when Anthony Gose doubled, moved up on Negrych’s ground out to the right side and scored on Sierra’s single to center. Hamilton’s speed allowed the Bats to tie it in the third. The Indianapolis center fielder singled, took second on his 20th steal and went to third on catcher Josh Thole’s overthrow. He scored as Rodriguez grounded out.

Buffalo went back in front in the fourth when Luis Jimenez, Gomez and Josh Thole hit consecutive singles after two were out, but Hamilton scored on Neftali’s single in the fifth to tie it.

Buffalo moves on to Indianapolis for a four-game series against the Indians starting tonight (Radio 1520, 7:05 p.m.). Miguel Batista (1-1, 6.38) is slated to start for the Bisons against right-hander Gerrit Cole (2-1, 2.23), a former UCLA star who was the first overall pick by Pittsburgh in the 2011 baseball draft. The teams will play day games on Wednesday and Thursday before closing out with a Friday night affair.