COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Right-hander Chris Rowley pitched six shutout innings Monday night and the Buffalo Bisons ended their six-game losing streak with a 7-5 victory over the Columbus Clippers before11,648 at Huntington Park.
Rowley, a West Point grad making only his third start for Buffalo, allowed four singles a walk and a hit batter while striking out five. The Clippers did not have a hit until the fourth inning when they had two.
However, what looked like a neatly wrapped Buffalo victory nearly became unraveled. Nellie Rodriguez homered in the seventh inning to break the shutout. Rodriguez, the Clippers' first baseman, hit a three-run homer in the ninth, his 12th of the season, in a four-run rally against three Buffalo relievers.
The Bisons came into the game after being swept in four games at home by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in their return to action after the International League's All-Star Game break. Columbus, on the other hand, had swept four games from the Toledo Mud Hens in their first action after the break.
It's the Bisons' only visit this season to Columbus. Buffalo had won 11 of its last 12 games against the Clippers including a three-game sweep at Coca-Cola Field April 13-15. The road win continued the Bisons' road success against the International League's West Division. Last season the Herd went 10-2 on the road against Columbus, Toledo, Indianapolis and Louisville.
Streak Ends I: Columbus pitching had not allowed a run in 25 innings before the Bisons scored three times in the fifth inning to take the lead.
Streak Ends II: The Buffalo rally in the fifth ended Buffalo's scoreless streak at 13 innings, which began in Saturday's 3-1 loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Herd had score only four runs total in their previous six games.
Off the schneid: Jon Berti lined a single to center to allow Andrew Guillotte to score Buffalo's first run since Saturday. Then IL All-Star Jason Leblebijian douibled home two more runs.
Long ball: Raffy Lopez gave the Bisons a 5-0 lead with his two-run homer to right field against Columbus reliever Cole Sulser in the seventh.
Grube loses: Veteran right-hander Jarrett Grube was the starter and loser for Columbus. Grube began the season with the Bisons, starting 11 games. He had a 2-3 record and a 6.14 ERA before he was released in June. He was the Bisons' Opening Day starter and winner.
Ex-Herd Battery: It was an all former Bisons battery for Columbus to start the game. Grube's catcher was Eric Kratz, another former Bison.
Next up: The Bisons and Clippers will meet in the second game of the three-game series Tuesday night (Radio 1520, 6:05 p.m.) with lefty T.J. House scheduled to start for the Herd against right-hander Adam Plutko of the Clips.