In the Triple-A All-Star showdown Wednesday night, the International League took the victory, a 4-2 decision over the Pacific Coast League at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, N.C.
How the Bisons did: The Herd had three players at the All-Star Game. Jesus Montero was the IL’s designated hitter. He went 1 for 4, with a single to center in the eighth. Montero also struck out twice and grounded out to third. Reliever Ben Rowen entered the game in the eighth getting a line out and then fielding a comebacker to the mound for two outs on five pitches. Dustin Antolin started the ninth and after issuing a lead-off walk got a double play ball, getting two outs on nine pitches.
Early home runs: The second inning feature a pair of home runs. The PCL took a 2-0 lead on a two-run shot from Travis Taijeron (Las Vegas) off Rochester’s Jason Wheeler, the starting pitcher for the International League. The IL got a run back in the bottom half when Erik Gonzalez (Columbus) hit a two-out solo shot. The IL tied the game in the fourth when Andrew Knapp (Lehigh Valley) led off with a homer.
Go-ahead runs: The IL took a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Brian Goodwin (Syracuse) led off with a single, moved to third on a double from Jorge Polanco (Rochester) and scored on a ground out by Cam Perkins (Lehigh Valley). A solo homer from Chris Marrero (Pawtucket) added insurance in the eighth.
The standings: The Bisons return from the All-Star break six games out in the IL North Division. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre leads the North, and the IL, with a 56-35 record. Lehigh Valley (4.0) and Rochester (4.5) are also in front of the Herd, who at 50-41 have a better record at the break then the teams leading the IL South (Charlotte, 42-5) and the IL West (Columbus, 49-43).
Back to work: The Bisons return to action Thursday, opening a four-game series agianst the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Allentown, Pa. The Herd returns to Buffalo on July 18 hosting Norfolk for three games then Gwinnett for four. Included in that homestand is the annual Star Wars Night on Saturday, July 23.