SYRACUSE -- It was the Syracuse Chiefs' turn to play long-ball Tuesday afternoon after a pair of home runs by Raffy Lopez helped Buffalo win Monday's series opener at NBT Bank Stadium.
Veteran first baseman Clint Robinson cranked a pair of home runs, including a three-run blast in the Chiefs' four-run seventh inning, to lead Syracuse to an 8-4 victory over the Bisons before 1,842.
The Chiefs' big inning broke a 4-4 tie and the Syracuse bullpen did the rest, shutting out the Herd over the last four frames.
The loss left Buffalo (17-12) with a half-game lead over Lehigh Valley (17-13) before the IronPigs game later Tuesday. The Bisons and IronPigs will begin a four-game series in Allentown, Pa. on Thursday.
Herd strikes first: An error, two walks helped the Bisons score twice in the first inning. The only Buffalo hit was a double by Dwight Smith Jr. to drive in the first run.
Robby blast ties it: Robinson's first homer, a two-run shot that followed a one-out single by Brandon Snyder, evened things at 2-all in the fourth.
Bisons rebound: Buffalo took another two-run lead with a pair of runs in the fifth inning, The Bisons had three hits and pair of walks and were helped by two wild pitches by Syracuse starter Austin Voth. The Herd could have had more but with runners at first and second and one out, reliever Cody Satterwhite got the Chiefs out of the jam. He retired the Bisons' two hottest hitters, Jason Leblebijian and Lopes, to retire the side.
Chiefs cash in: Matt Skole doubled home the go-ahead run for Syracuse in the seventh. With two out, Jeff Beliveau (1-1) of the Bisons walked Snyder intentionally to pitch to Robinson. The big designated hitter, who played 35 games for Buffalo in 2013, made them pay. He took a Beliveau pitch over the fence in right field for his fourth homer of the season.
Leblebijian stopped: The Bisons shortstop was hitless in four at-bats after his 4-for-4 game the night before, raising his batting average to .354, second in the International League. He went into Tuesday's game with a league-leading 22 RBIs and was second in slugging (.608) and on-base percentage (.469).
Up next: The Chiefs and Bisons wrap up the series with a 10:35 a.m. game this morning with Ceaser Valdez (no record) listed as the Buffalo starter against right-hander Taylor Hill (1.3, 8.65) of the Chiefs. Valdez, who was obtioned from Toronto last Friday, was activated for Monday night's game. The 32-year-old right-hander was claimed on waivers from Oakland last week.