The Buffalo Bisons return home to Coca-Cola Field on Monday after completing a road trip that was quite good, but could have been even better.
The Herd took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning against Toledo. However, a two-run home run by Steven Moya gave the Mud Hens a 3-2 victory.
Buffalo won four of its first five games on the trip. Moya’s no-doubt-about-it blast to right field made it a fine 4-2 run instead of a glittering 5-1 trip.
Chris Leroux, (3-3, 3.20) is the scheduled starter for the Bisons on Monday as they take on Columbus (4:05 p.m., Radio 1520 AM). Will Roberts will get the start for the Clippers.
The Bisons had been playing quite well before leaving town. The team had climbed back to the .500 mark for the first time since early in the season with a 5-2 homestand. Buffalo won three straight in Columbus, but dropped the series to Toledo.
Dustin Antolin came on in relief for the Bisons in the bottom of the ninth, hoping to preserve the lead. Anthony Gose opened the inning with a single to left field. Dixon Michado sacrificed to Antolin, with Gose moving into scoring position at second base. After taking the first pitch in the dirk, Moya fouled off three straight pitches. That was followed by the game-winning home run.
Antolin’s record fell to 1-2 on the season after his second blown save. Bruce Rondon was the beneficiary of the late rally, as the Toledo pitcher moved to 1-1 on the season.
Good start: Gose and Machado were involved in the first scoring play of the game. Gose hit a triple in the first Mud Hen at bat of the game. Machado followed with a single to right to drive home Gose.
Uprising: Dalton Pompey and Andy Burns hit back-to-back singles to start the top of the eighth for Buffalo off relief pitcher Bobby Parnell, and an error by Moya allowed Pompey to advance to third base on the play. Matt Dominguez’s sacrifice fly drove home Pompey with the game-tying run.
Then Jesus Montero untied the game. The Bisons’ clean-up hitter singled to right, plating Burns with the go-ahead run. Buffalo had a couple of chances to add to its lead, but came up empty in its next two at-bats.
Out of the jam: Roberto Hernandez did some clutch pitching when it was necessary for the Bisons. The Herd starter went 5.1 innings. He allowed 10 hits and walked two batters, but only allowed one run. Mud Hens pitcher Chad Bell was even better, allowing two hits in six innings of work.
Back in form: The Clippers lost one more game after losing three straight to the Bisons, as Durham started a series in Columbus with a win. But the Clippers bounced back by winning the next two games. They enter the game with a solid 28-21 record for the season.