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Herd continues playoff push

NORFOLK, Va. — The playoff push continues for the Buffalo Bisons. So, too, does the drama.

The Bisons scored four runs in the top of the 11th inning to earn a 6-2 win over the Norfolk Tides at Harbor Park Tuesday afternoon.

It was the 13th win in the last 16 games for the Herd. The club was four games under the .500 mark (48-52) on July 20 but has moved to six over (61-55) with some clutch performances.

Tuesday’s hero was Sean Ochinko. The catcher had a bases-clearing double in the 11th to give the Bisons the lead.

He later scored on a single from Kevin Nolan to give the Bisons the four-run cushion.

Kyle Drabek played the role of closer, shutting down the Tides in the bottom of the inning to secure the win.

It was Ochiko’s fourth game with the Bisons this year after missing 58 games with a concussion. He returned to play with Double-A New Hampshire on July 20 where he hit .250 and drove in four runs in six games. Ochinko was promoted to the Herd on July 29.

Brett Wallace tied the game for the Bisons in the sixth inning with a solo home run. Wallace, who played for Norfolk this year before being acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles on July 14, went 6 for 11 with four walks in his last three games against his former team.

Steve Delabar (2-2) picked up the win for the Herd, giving up just two walks with two strikeouts pitching the ninth and 10th innings.

Before the game, the Bisons activated outfielder Melky Mesa off the disabled list and placed catcher A.J. Jimenez on the DL, retroactive to Sunday.

Mesa, who missed 52 games with a lower leg contusion, went 1 for 5, with his hit coming in the 11th inning to start the Bisons’ rally.

The Bisons are off today and return to action Thursday in Durham, beginning a stretch of five games in four days against the Bulls. Lefty Brad Mills (1-0, 3.86) is scheduled to start for the Herd.