News Staff report
The Bisons returned to the scene of the crime Monday night and got more trouble.
A four-game sweep by the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa., turned the Herd’s season around. Buffalo went from a leader in the International League standings to a follower as the Iron Pigs took over first place in the North Division.
Lehigh Valley inflicted more damage on the Herd Monday night, 12-1, breaking the game wide open with a six-run sixth inning with seven hits in the inning against two Buffalo pitchers, Luis Santos and Matt Dermody. It included a triple with a man on by Nick Williams and a two-run homer by Pedro Florimon. Hector Gomez homered to lead off the second to put the IronPigs in front. Lehigh Valley had 17 hits in the rout.
That man again: Tom Eshelman (4-0), who beat the Herd in the May series, was in command again. He threw 62 strikes in 86 pitches threw in his seven innings, allowing five hits and striking out six. He walked none.
Honor for Leblebijian: The Buffalo run came in the sixth inning when Shane Opitz led off with a double, moved to third on an infield out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Leblebijian, who was named I.L. Batter of the Week after he batted .481 in last week’s home stand.
No fluke: Lehigh Valley improved its record to 38-19, a .667 pace. The IronPigs lead the I.L. in home runs (63) and runs (283), and had a league best .335 team earned-run average coming into the game.
Beliveau goes up: Toronto selected the contract of Bisons lefty-reliever Jeff Beliveau on Monday and placed lefty reliever J.P. Howell on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder tightness.
Next up: The Bisons, who now stand 1-6 against Lehigh Valley this season, will try again Tuesday night when lefty Brett Oberholtzer goes against Lehigh Valley right-hander Cesar Ramos.