It was a long struggle, but the Buffalo Bisons are back to .500 again.
The Herd (43-43) got back to break-even in a big way Tuesday night, routing the Rochester Red Wings, 15-1, at Frontier Field in the opener of a three-game series in Rochester. Last time Buffalo was even for the season was June 8, when the Bisons were 28-28. It was the sixth win in the last seven games for the suddenly potent Herd.
After banging out 14 hits in winning the series finale at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday night, they hit a season high with 21 against the Red Wings.
Daniel Norris (2-7) was the beneficiary of all that support. The 22-year-old left-hander from Tennessee snapped a seven-game losing streak and picked up his first road win. Norris struck out eight in seven innings and yielded no walks for the first time this season. The only run against him was a solo home run by Oswaldo Arcia in the fifth inning. After receiving only 2.4 runs in support his first 11 starts, Norris left with a 12-run lead in the eighth inning.
Hot bats: The Bisons got a big spark at the plate from No. 6 hitter Sean Ochinko who was 4 for 6 with three RBIs. Ochinko’s second home run of the season got Buffalo off to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Monday night, it was leadoff man Melky Mesa who reached base four times with a pair of doubles and two walks. Mesa had two more doubles on Tuesday, giving him six in his last six games, and drove in three runs as he went 3 for 6.
Hague watch: International League batting leader Matt Hague made it 2-0 with a solo home run in the third and was 2 for 5 with a pair of runs scored. Hague raised his batting average to .341 with his team-high 33rd multi-hit game. He also leads the league in hits (107) and on-base percentage (.426) and has 52 RBIs, third in the IL.
Attendance: 3,409 took in the game, which started an hour late after rain swept through Rochester.
What’s next: The Bisons have not announced their starter for Wednesday night’s game (Radio 1520 AM, 7 p.m.) while right-hander Jose Berrios (0-0, 6.35) is the probable starter for the Wings.