Triple-A rookie Jason Leblebijian drove in three runs, including hitting his second home run is as many games, to help pace the Buffalo Bisons to their fourth straight win.
The Herd earned a 9-4 win over the Rochester Red Wings in the series opener at Coca-Cola Field on Monday afternoon.
Leblebijian went 3 for 4 in Monday's win as the Bisons continue to hit well with runners on base. Through their first four games, the Bisons are hitting .483 (15 for 31) with runners in scoring position.
"I was able to lay off some good pitches and grind off some good pitches and just get myself back in good counts," Leblebijian said. "From a team standpoint, we just keep doing it. We just keep getting guys on and just keep the line moving. It's definitely fun to watch. It puts a lot of pressure on other teams."
"It seems like every time we get a guy at the plate, each pitch he's battling," Bisons' manager Bobby Meacham said. "Not only when they're ahead in the count but when they're behind in the count. ... You can see everyone going pitch to pitch and grinding out at-bats. There's no extra weight. You see some guy's struggling, that's not a big deal because you get the guys at the bottom of the order picking them up now."
Early lead: The Bisons took a 1-0 lead thanks to a pair of walks and a passed ball. In the second, Mile Ohlman drew a leadoff walk. With two outs, Juan Granterol got the first hit of the day then Ian Parmley drew a walk to load the bases. With Leblebijian batting, Rochester catcher John Ryan Murphy was charged with a passed ball allowing Ohlman to score.
Leblebijian then ripped a single to left to score two runs putting the Herd up 3-0.
Leblebijian heats up: In the third, the shortstop blasted a home run to left field for a 4-0 Bisons' lead. In four games he now has two home runs while driving in seven runs. Last season he had 13 home runs combined between Double-A New Hampshire and Single-A Dunedin.
House in command: T.J. House pitched five scoreless innings giving up two hits with three walks and five strikeouts. He threw 75 pitches, 44 for strikes.
On the board: Rochester broke through in the seventh when Leonardo Reginatto homered to left field. It was a one-out shot off Bisons' reliever Leonel Campos.
The Red Wings weren't done. Two walks put runners on first and second and a single to right from Niko Goodrum scored one run to cut the Bisons' lead to 4-2.
Insurance runs: A two-run, two-out single from Ohlman in the seventh gave the Herd some breathing room. Leblebijian had singled to lead off the inning and Jake Elmore drew a one-out walk. With two outs a wild pitch from Rochester reliever Buddy Boshers moved the runners up, allowing both to score on the Ohlman hit.
More for Reginatto: The Rochester second baseman doubled in a run in the eighth. He finished with a single, home run and double on Monday, which also was his 27th birthday.
Big eighth: Because why not add to your lead in the eighth? The Bisons scored three runs in the eighth with two outs. Chris Coghlan had an RBI single while Rowdy Tellez drove in two with a base hit to give the Herd a 9-3 lead.
Counting the stands: The official paid attendance was 6,236.
Up next: The series with Rochester continues at Coca-Cola Field at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday. The Bisons are scheduled to start lefty Brett Oberholtzer with Rochester starting righty Aaron Slegers.