Chris Colabello got Buffalo off to a 3-0 start with a first-inning home run and the Bisons defeated the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for a seventh straight time, 7-1, Saturday night at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa.
The Herd has won 11 of its last 12 games, including a four-game sweep of last-place Lehigh Valley in Buffalo last weekend and three games so far here.
Mr. Big: Colabello leads the International League with five home runs and for the time being is tied for the lead with 14 RBIs. Also, the former Rochester Red Wing is one of four players with 11 runs scored. Besides his first-inning homer – which came with two outs against IronPigs starter Chad Billingsley (0-1) – Colabello singled in the fifth and doubled in the seventh.
Committee work: Four Bisons pitched to combine for the victory, allowing seven hits and striking out seven with no walks. Rob Rasmussen, who made the spot start, pitched four innings and left with a 4-1 lead. Scott Barnes, who picked up the win with two perfect innings, followed. Then Ryan Tepera and Colt Hines continued the shutout string, working two innings each.
Turning two: The Bisons helped their pitchers by turning two double plays. Hyne started a 1-6-3 twin killing in the eighth and Domonic Brown, down on a rehab assignment from the Philadelphia Phillies, hit into a more conventional 6-4-3 in the ninth to erase Darin Mastroianni, who had led off with a infield hit to third.
Andy’s Handy: Andy Wilkins drove home two of Buffalo’s three runs in the fifth with his second double of the season. Wilkins has eight RBIs so far.
Records: Bisons 12-4, Lehigh Valley 4-13.
Paid attendance: The struggling IronPigs drew 9,191 in 59-degree weather on a clear night in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Next up: The teams will complete their four-game series Sunday (Radio 1520, 1:30 p.m.) and won’t meet again until a four-game set here from June 15-19. The Bisons return to Coca-Cola Field to begin a seven-game homestand, starting with a Monday game against the Norfolk Tides in the opener of a four-game series before the Louisville Bats come in on Friday to start a three-game set.