Caleb Gindl picked a great time to hit his first home run of the season.
The Buffalo Bisons’ right fielder blasted a towering, three-run home run Saturday in the seventh inning against the Charlotte Knights, turning a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 victory for the Herd.
There was no doubt about Gindl’s shot, which landed next to the Bully Hill party deck in right field.
Gindl had gone 134 at-bats this year without a homer, a stretch he called “the longest by far I’ve gone without hitting one.”
Gindl’s homer came off Knights reliever Maikel Cleto, who can touch 100 mph on the radar gun.
“I thought he was going to throw a fastball up,” Gindl said. “It happened to be middle in and I reacted to it.”
Relievers to the rescue: Bisons starter Daniel Norris labored through four innings, allowing seven hits and four runs. Relievers Chad Jenkins and Todd Redmond picked him up, though. They combined to retire 12 straight batters at one point, with Redmond pitching the final two innings to earn his first save of the year.
Tolleson rehabbing: Blue Jays second baseman Steve Tolleson (groin injury) joined the Herd on a rehab assignment. He started and went 0 for 3 with a walk before being lifted for a pinch runner in the seventh inning. Tolleson also committed an error in the field.
Just a bit outside: Two of the runs allowed by Norris were unearned after he attempted to throw Columbus’ Tyler Saladino out at first base after a sacrifice bunt. The throw wasn’t close to first baseman Daric Barton, allowing two Charlotte runners to score.
Other roster moves: The Herd activated right-handed pitcher Scott Copeland, who was optioned by the Blue Jays on Thursday. The team also sent right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx to Double-A New Hampshire.
Pitchers of record: Jenkins improved to 4-2, striking out three and allowing two hits in three scoreless innings. Cleto (2-1) took the loss after allowing three runs on two hits and two walks in just one-third of an inning.
Time of game: 2:55.
Paid attendance: 11,842.
Team records: The Bisons won their third straight to improve to 31-32. Charlotte fell to 33-29.
What’s next: The two teams close out the series at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Coca-Cola Field. A starter has not been announced for the Herd. Charlotte will send Kyle Drabek (1-4, 2.79 ERA) to the mound. The first 3,000 fans through the Swan Street gates will receive a Luke Easter bobblehead.