The Buffalo Bisons took the three-game series with the Durham Bulls, winning 6-4 on a rainy Wednesday night.
The Bisons grinded their way through one of their most successful innings of the season in the second, tying a season high with five runs in a frame despite no batter hitting more than a single.
The Herd were patient at the plate, consistently getting ahead of the count against knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa. Casey Kotchman and Junior Lake led off the inning with walks, forcing Gamboa to come into the strike zone against the ensuing batters. David Adams and Tony Sanchez helped both of them home with a pair of singles.
Two more singles and a pair of passed balls by J.P. Arencibia was enough cushion for the Bisons, even after giving up home runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Records: The Bisons moved to 35-31, still four games back of division-leading Rochester. Durham falls to 30-38.
WP: Roberto Hernandez (3-2) pitched 6.1 innings and struck out six batters, tying season highs in both categories.
He was riding a one-hitter into the sixth inning, when the Bulls started getting hard hits off of him. Johnny Field hit a no-doubt home run, one of four hits to left that led to Hernandez being pulled.
“Roberto Hernandez did a very good job,” Bisons manager Gary Allenson said. “He was working ahead for the most part. He was working the sinker down and he got some ugly swings.”
Lockdown Reliever: Ryan Tepera came into the eighth inning in a tough spot – two runners on and no outs. He proved his worth to Allenson, striking out three batters to keep the lead safe.
“Contact on any one of them is probably a run,” Allenson said. “He’s matured a lot since I had him in AA in 2013. He’s got good stuff. He’s going to be a pretty good big league pitcher.”
He secured the save with a three-up, three-down ninth inning.
“Lately I’ve just been making it simple,” Tepera said. “Two-seams in and cutters away. The cutter was really good today so I stuck with it.”
Roster Moves: The Blue Jays called up infielder Andy Burns and left-handed reliever Chad Girodo today. They replace pitchers Aaron Loup and Scott Diamond, who were both sent down by Toronto yesterday afternoon. Both players give manager John Gibbons added flexibility for Toronto’s interleague series against the Phillies.
Counting the House: Paid attendance was 4,979 at Coca-Cola Field.
Up next: The Bisons head to the road for a four-game series with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs this weekend. Friday's Bisons starter Chris Leroux (4-4) faces a tough challenge in Lehigh Valley’s Ben Lively (3-0), a dominant strikeout pitcher acquired from the Reds in the Marlon Byrd trade. He hasn’t been defeated in ten starts between AAA and AA this year, posting a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings pitched with Lehigh Valley.