A dominant performance with season highs at the plate and another strong outing from the pitching staff paced the Buffalo Bisons to an 11-1 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa., Thursday night.
It was the third straight win for the Herd and their ninth in their last 10 to remain in first place in the International League North Division.
Season highs: The Bisons set season highs offensively with 11 runs and 18 hits.
Solid from the mound: Starter Chad Jenkins pitched five scoreless innings, giving up five hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Ryan Tepera followed with two more scoreless and hitless innings. Gregory Infante lost the Herd's shutout bid in the eighth as he gave up a run on two hits. Colt Hynes pitched the ninth giving up one hit.
Colabello continues hot streak: Chris Colabello went long in the second inning, to give the Herd a 1-0 lead. It was another feather in the cap of the infielder who has been crazy consistent at the plate for the Bisons. He is 6 for 10 in his last two games and drove in two runs on Thursday. Colabello leads the team with four home runs and 11 runs batted in.
Finally! An RBI for Diaz: Jonathan Diaz has dazzled with defense, but his performance at the plate has been a struggle. He entered Thursday's game hitting just .133 in 11 games but broke out for his first RBI of the season when his two-out double in the sixth scored Munenori Kawasaki.
Speaking of Kawasaki: The shortstop went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored.
What a difference a game makes: Ezequiel Carrera went 4 for 5 driving in two runs and scoring two. With that one performance he raised his batting average 60 points to .298.
On-base percentage: Matt Hague stepped into the batters' box six times Thursday. And six times he reached base. Hague went 3-for-3 with three walks. He drove in two runs and scored two runs.
Small ball rules: Colabello gave the Herd a 1-0 lead in the second but the team expanded its lead by manufacturing runs. In the third, the Bisons added two with an RBI single from Matt Hague and a fielder's choice from Colabello. The Herd then scored twice with two-outs in the sixth with the two-out RBI double from Diaz who then scored on a single. In the seventh Ezequiel Carrera had a sacrifice fly to score Matt Hague, who drew a walk to lead off the inning.
And the hits keep on coming: In the eighth inning, the Herd sent six players to the plate before an out was recorded. The Bisons had five hits and scored four runs to open up a 10-run lead.
Roster moves: It musical chairs for catchers in the Toronto organization. The Blue Jays recalled Josh Thole from the Bisons. To take his spot, A.J. Jimenez was promoted from Double-A New Hampshire. The 24-year-old Jimenez began the season on the Bisons' disabled list and was transferred to New Hampshire April 16. He played five games with the Fisher Cats going 2-21 (.095). Jimenez played in 58 games for the Bisons in 2014, hitting .260 with 13 doubles while driving in 24 runs. The Blue Jays also announced Andy Dirks was activated off the Bisons' DL and granted his release.
Pitchers of record: Chad Jenkins (1-1) picked up the win while Lehigh Valley starter Paul Clemens moved to 0-1 with the loss giving up five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Time of game: 3:04
Paid attendance: 6,812
Records: Bisons 10-4, Lehigh Valley 4-11.
Next up: The series continues Friday at 7:05 p.m. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (0-0, 1.80) is scheduled to get his second spot start while the IronPigs will counter with Joely Rodriguez (0-1, 4.30).