The Buffalo Bisons took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning.
And then the wheels came off.
David Aardsma blew the save. Rochester tied the game. Then in the 14th inning a bases-loaded triple from Adam Brett Walker gave the Rochester Red Wings the final push needed to earn an 8-7 win in 14 innings at Coca-Cola Field.
With the bases loaded and no outs against reliever Ben Rowen, Walker's line drive to right field hit the yellow railing on the fence and then bounced back on the field allowing all three runners to score. Walker crossed the plate on a single from Wilfredo Tovar to cap the four-run rally.
Turns out the Red Wings needed that insurance run. The Herd rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 14th thanks to an RBI single by Domonic Brown and a towering two-run home run from Jesus Montero. But Rochester closed out the win -- its fourth against the Herd in six games.
It was the sixth blown save for the Herd in the first month of the season.
"We're not doing a very good job closing stuff out right now but it happens to everybody," Bisons manager Gary Allenson said. "We're just gong to have to smooth that stuff out. … It's disappointing when you do have the lead and you lose it. It’s not like anybody’s not trying out there. It was the kind of game a few years back where the final score was 1-0. Now it was 8-7. It was one of those games where we had our opportunities and seemed like we had the right guys up a couple of times but just didn’t get it done there."
Early Bisons lead: The Herd had taken a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Alexi Casilla hit his first home run of the season. Casill a drove a two-out, 0-1 pitch to the right field party deck, extending his hitting streak to seven games.
Rochester rally No. 1: Bisons starter Wade LeBlanc had been sailing along, scattering three hits against five strike outs through the first four innings. In the fifth he gave up a leadoff single to Carlos Paulino. A sacrifice and strikeout later, James Beresford singled in Paulino to tie the game. After retiring the first two batters of the sixth, LeBlanc gave up three straight hits, including an RBI single to Paulino giving the Red Wings a 2-1 lead.
Late Bisons lead: In the seventh, a lead off double by Junior Lake got the juices flowing. A fielding error by Rochester third baseman Stephen Wickens put Jio Mier on first and Lake on third. A single from Dalton Pompey scored Lake to tie the game. Then a wild pitch by reliever Brandon Kintzler allowed Mier to score. An RBI single from Dominic Brown gave the Herd an insurance run and a 4-2 lead.
Rochester rally No. 2: In the ninth Byron Buxton and James Beresford hit back-to-back doubles to cut the lead to 4-3. A walk and shallow single loaded the bases with no outs and a sacrifice to left by Max Kepler tied the game.
Relief work: Bobby Korecky had a solid line in the longest outing for a Bisons' reliever this season. He pitched 3 2/3 innings of hitless baseball with one walk and five strike outs.
Longest game: Tuesday's game was the longest game at Coca-Cola Field since June 23, 2013. The Bisons beat Durham in 14 innings as Mike Nickeas doubled then scored on a sacrifice bunt plus error in Richardo Nanita's at-bat.
Roster moves: Tuesday afternoon, the Toronto Blue Jays recalled infielder Matt Dominguez and optioned right handed pitcher Drew Hutchinson. Dominguez hit .311 with four doubles, two home runs and has driven in a team-high 14 runs in 17 games with the Bisons. He was on an eight-game hit streak that included five multi-hit games. Hutchison was promoted to the Blue Jays for a spot start on Sunday. He picked up the win against Oakland, giving up two runs in 5 2/3 innings. Hutchison was the Bisons' Opening Day starter. With the Herd he is 0-1 with a 4.11 ERA in three starts. He is now scheduled to start for the Bisons at Lehigh Valley on Friday. Meanwhile Arnold Leon was activated tot he Bisons roster after being designated for assignment on April 13 with Casey Lawrence transferred to Double-A New Hampshire.
Attendance: The official paid attendance was 4,361 but it was an "everyone gets on the Big Board" kind of night at Coca-Cola Field with the temperature at first-pitch 40 degrees.
Up next: The series continues at 1:05 p.m. Wednesday at Coca-Cola Field. The starting pitchers were to be determined as both teams had roster moves which impacted their scheduled rotation. Allenson said that Roberto Hernandez will start for the Bisons. Rochester's starter is TBA after scheduled starter Jose Berrios was called up to the Minnesota Twins. Berrios is the No. 2 ranked prospect in the Twins organization.