It's been a difficult season for Casey Lawrence to find a rhythm. The 29-year-old right-handed pitcher has been recalled by the Toronto Blue Jays twice, including having one of his starts with the Buffalo Bisons shortened before his pending recall on April 22.
But Lawrence rolls with whatever baseball throws his way and on Wednesday that included throwing the ball pretty well.
Lawrence picked up his first win of 2017, giving up one unearned run over five innings of work as the Herd defeated the Rochester Red Wings, 4-1, in the second half a doubleheader at Coca-Cola Field.
"It's just part of the game so you just kinda gotta roll with the punches and make adjustments when you can here and there and go about your business as you normally would no matter where you are," Lawrence said.
In Buffalo, he's pretty darn effective. He entered the game with no decision in his first two starts with the Herd and left with his first win and an earned run average of 0.90.
He's made four appearances for the Blue Jays this season, two starts and two relief outings, where he's 0-3.
"When they sent me back down I asked about a couple things that they wanted to see me work on and I was able to apply a couple of them in there today," Lawrence said. "I was happy with it and definitely want to still go out there and give the team a chance to win."
He got into a jam in the first inning where a single, hit by pitch and walk loaded the bases, but he got out of it. He gave up two hits in the second but a stellar defensive play at first by Rowdy Tellez allowed him to double-off the runner at first after he caught a line drive.
Lawrence settled in from there, giving up five hits in five innings.
Finding a way to score: In the nightcap, the Bisons took advantage of wild pitches and errors to build a 4-0 lead.
Dwight Smith Jr. and Mike Ohlman had back-to-back singles and moved up a base when Rochester starter Nik Turley threw a wild pitch. After Rowdy Tellez drew a walk to load the bases, Turley threw another wild pitch, allowing Smith Jr. to score. Then with two outs shortstop Bengie Gonzalez misplayed the ball, allowing Jake Elmore to reach first safely and Ohlman to score.
A two-out single by Ian Parmly cleared the bases and put the Herd in a solid position.
Red Wings jump to a lead: In the first game, Rochester took a 4-0 lead in the second inning. John Ryan Murphy had a one-out two-run singles while Gonzalez had a two-run triple.
Long ball: Ohlman hit his fifth home run of the year, a towering two-run shot to left field. That got the Bisons on the board in the third and cut Rochester's lead to 4-2.
Heads up on the bases: The Bisons took advantage of an error to creep back into the game in the fourth. Darrell Ceciliani reached first when Rochester's starting pitcher David Hurlbut misplayed a hit back to the mound. He took third on a hit-and-run single by Jake Elmore, then tagged up to score on a sacrifice to right field from Alex Monsalve.
Hits for Tellez: Tellez had a pair of hits in the first game, including a double. Both came off Rochester's left-handed starter Hurlbut. He was just 1 for 23 against lefties coming into the game.
Out at the plate: It looked as if Tellez had tied the game in the fifth when he tried to score from second on a shallow single to right field by Ceciliani, but was called him out at the plate. Bisons manager Bobby Meacham disputed the call and was ejected by home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz.
Counting the crowd: The official paid attendance was 4,310 but only a handful of hearty fans were in the stands.
The homestand: Rochester and Buffalo are scheduled to complete their series at 1:05 p.m. Thursday with righty Mike Bolsinger (1-1, 1.46) starting for the Bisons against lefty Adalberto Mejia (0-0, 0.00). The Herd then has a three-game series against Lehigh Valley in Coca-Cola Field on Friday (7:05 p.m), Saturday (1:05 p.m.) and Sunday (1:05 p.m.)