It took a while for the bats to warm up, but the Buffalo Bisons found some timely offense late and pulled out a 2-1 win over the Rochester Red Wings at Coca-Cola Field's 2016 Opening Day.
It was outfielder Junior Lake who gave the Herd the win with his RBI double in the seventh that broke a 1-1 tie.
Leading off the seventh, Jesus Montero got on base thanks to a throwing error by Rochester third baseman Heiker Meneses. Montero advanced on a groundout by Casey Kotchman then scored on the double to right by Lake.
The game was scoreless until the sixth inning when former Bison Darin Mastroianni had a one-out single. He scored on a double from Buck Britton who belted the ball into left center.
Dalton Pompey had a two-out double to right field then scored on a broken-bat single up the middle from Andy Burns to tie the game, 1-1, in the sixth.
Diamond on the mound: Scott Diamond picked up his second win in as many starts with the Bisons. He gave up one run on six hits with five strike outs in seven innings.
Closing it out: Ryan Tepera struck out the side in the eighth. David Aardsma picked up his third save of the season pitching the ninth with one strikeout and one walk.
Dean dealing: Rochester start Pat Dean had the Bisons impatient at the plate as he retired the first 10 batters he faced, including six groundouts. It was Burns who drove a one-out 0-2 pitch to left field for the Herd's first hit of the game in the fourth inning. Burns then had the RBI single in the sixth, breaking Dean's 26 1/3 scoreless streak against Buffalo dating back to May 29 of last season. Last year he went 3-0 against the Herd and gave up just one run in 21 1/3 innings. Overall in 2015 he pitched five complete games for Rochester with three shut outs.
Home openers: The Bisons are now 18-11 in home openers at Coca-Cola Field.
Roster move: The Bisons activated reliever Bobby Korecky before Thursday’s game.
WCC Race: The mascot race kicked off with a video, setting the stage for the season. Atomic is upset as he is the only member of the mascot race without a bobblehead. Atomic let Wing, Blue Cheese and Celery start then came from behind to blow them away and take the Opening Day win. Celery came in second.
Counting the house: The 13,102 was the largest Opening Day crowd at Coca-Cola Field since 2013, the first year of the Bisons affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Up next: The opening homestand continues with the first fridaynightbash! of the season at 6:05 p.m. Lefty Wade LeBlanc (1-0, 1.80) is scheduled to start for the Bisons while Rochester is scheduled to start righty Alex Meyer (0-0, 0.00).