Sometimes baseball is a simple game. If one team gets more hits than the other, it has a better chance of winning than its opponent.
That played out during Thursday's doubleheader at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Va., leading to a split decision between the Buffalo Bisons and the host Tides.
The Herd took the opener 3-0 as Rowdy Tellez swung the big bat, driving in all of the team's runs and scoring once. He and Dwight Smith Jr. combined for five of the Bisons' eight hits in this one. The outburst was more than enough to make a winner out of Mike Bolsinger, who combined with a reliever on the three-hitter.
The Bisons dropped the second game of the twin bill, 2-1, to close the four-game set with Norfolk, 2-2, with all games being played via doubleheader due to Tuesday's rainout here and last Thursday's weather postponement of the series finale at Coca-Cola Field.
For starters: The Herd gave Bolsinger a lead to work with right away as Tellez's sacrifice fly plated Christian Lopes, who worked a lead-off walk to start the game. Lopes moved to third on Smith's ground-rule double. Bolsinger scattered three hits and struck out six in five innings. John Stilson pitched the final two innings for the save.
Let's get Rowdy: Tellez came into Thursday's opening game mired in a slump in which he had just one hit in his last eight games. Tellez, who started out slow last year in Double-A before catching fire during an all-star season, showed why he's one of the top prospects in the Blue Jays organization.
He finished the opener 2 for 2, adding an RBI single in the fifth after Smith's lead-off double and then tacking on one-out line-drive homer to left in the seventh.
He went 0 for 3 in the second game, with a fly out, strikeout and a line-drive out to left in the seventh.
Rare twin bill: Thursday's doubleheader marked just the first time since 2011 the Bisons played back-to-back twin bills. The last road one was back in 2007 in Richmond.
Mostly silence bats: The Bisons mustered just three hits in the finale, but strung two of them together in the fourth to take a 1-0 lead. Smith scored on Jake Elmore's single after hitting a lead-off double.
Tide turns: The Tides had three of their seven hits in the fifth inning, pushing across two runs to take the lead for good. It began with Logan Schafer's lead-off triple. He scored on Johnny Giavotella's one-out single. Giavotella moved into scoring position via a steal and came home with the go-ahead run on Robert Andino's ground single to left.
Pitching-by-committee finale: Chad Girodo has appeared in 156 games as a professional -- including 14 in the big leagues. He started for just the second time in his career Thursday as the Bisons went the patchwork route to get through their fourth game in two days. Girodo, who has three saves, struck out five in three innings, giving way to fellow reliever Wil Browning. Browning took the loss as he yielded four hits and two runs in two innings. Leonel Campos struck out three in his lone inning of work.
The Tides also went piecemeal, using four pitchers with Steve Johnson going 3.1 innings to start. He gave up one hit and one run with four strikeouts. Stefan Crichton relieved him picked up the win. Jimmy Yacabonis got three outs for the save.
Up next: The Bisons' southern swing continues with a trip to Durham as the Herd opens a three-game set against the Bulls at 7:05 p.m. Friday with lefty T.J. House (3-0, 0.53 ERA) slated to get the start for Buffalo.