The Buffalo Bisons earned a split of a four-game series by rallying for a 5-3 win over the Norfolk Tides on a sun-splashed Thursday afternoon in Coca-Cola Field. The Bisons overcame a 3-1 deficit with a three-run fifth and got more stellar work from their bullpen to win their second straight game.
Two-out magic: Buffalo's runs in the fifth all came with two out, on an RBI single by Matt Hague, an RBI double by Andy Wilkins that landed directly on the right-field line and a single to left by Chris Colabello on a full-count pitch that snapped the tie. Buffalo's first run also came with two out, on Brad Glenn's bases-loaded walk in the first.
They spell relief: The red-hot Buffalo bullpen piled up 5 2/3 more shutout innings to drop its season ERA to a glittering 1.42. Rob Rasmussen went 3 2/3 innings, Gregory Infante pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Bo Schultz went through the ninth for his fifth save. Ten straight Norfolk batters were retired from the sixth until Michael Almanzar's one-out single in the ninth.
Ay Carrera: Center fielder Ezequiel Carrera went 2 for 5 to push his average to .333 and is 17 for 38 (.447) in his last 9 games. He has a team-high nine multi-hit games in his 20 appearances this season.
Muni on the basepaths: Shortstop Munenori Kawasaki singled in the fourth to extend his on-base streak to 13 games, the longest running one in the International League. Kawasaki is 14 for 42 during the streak.
Slump-busters: Buffalo catcher A.J. Jimenez was 0 for 14 on the season until his first-inning single. Left fielder Caleb Gindl snapped an 0-for-13 rut with a single in the fifth and added another single in the eighth to post his second two-hit game of the season.
Season debut: Buffalo pitcher Todd Redmond, in his first appearance after getting designated for assignment by Toronto on April 16, allowed one hit and faced the minimum nine men over the first three innings. But he gave up three runs on four hits and in the fourth and was lifted after 3 1/3 innings.
Pitchers of record: Rasmussen (1-0) fired 3 2/3 innings of one-hit ball to drop his ERA to 0.90 in five outings. Norfolk starter Tyler Wilson took the loss to fall to 1-3.
Pace of play: Thursday's game took 2 hours, 35 minutes. Starting with Friday's game, umpires can enforce the pitch clock rules for pitchers and batters, influencing the count by penalizing the hurler with a ball or the batter with a strike. April was an experimental month.
Paid attendance: 4,720.
Records: Bisons 14-7, Norfolk, 11-10.
Next up: Friday vs. Louisville Bats, 6:05 p.m. in the opener of a three-game series against the Cincinnati affiliate. The Bats are in their first year under manager Delino DeShields, the longtime former MLB infielder. Andrew Albers (1-3) pitches against Matt Magill (0-1). There will be postgame fireworks.