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Bisons: Errors in ninth give Clippers a walk-off win

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The outlook didn't look too promising for the Buffalo Bisons Wednesday night, having to improvise when their scheduled starter was called up by the Toronto Blue Jays and having to go against one of the International League's best young pitchers.

Despite the situation it took a pair of Buffalo errors in the bottom of the ninth after two were out to allow the Columbus Clippers to walk off with a 5-4 victory over the Herd before 8,270 at Huntington Park.

Three times in the game, the Bisons held one-run leads before the Clippers won it in the ninth on a single by Daniel Robertson, who took second on a fielding error by left-fielder Michael Saunders and scored on a throwing error by Bisons shortstop Gregorio Petit.

Mix and match: Cesar Valdez was the scheduled starter for Buffalo, but was called up by Toronto to take the place of Mike Bolsinger, who went on the disabled list with left knee inflammation. Bolsinger, who has spent much of the season with Buffalo, had just turned in his best performance of the season for Toronto, striking out six in 3 1/3 innings in a 5-4 loss to the Red Sox in Boston the night before. Bolsinger gave up a walk-off homer to Hanley Ramirez in the bottom of the 15th inning.

Bisons manager Bobby Meacham went to his bullpen, giving Murphy Smith the start.  Four other Buffalo pitchers followed before Griffin Glaude took the loss when he was victimized by the unearned run in the ninth.

Meanwhile, Columbus went with its ace, 24-year-old left-hander Shawn Morimando, who came in with a 10-5 record including two nine-inning shutouts last month and was 8-1 in his last 10 starts. Morimando left after seven innings with the game tied, 4-4. He allowed eight hits including home runs by Raffy Lopez in the fourth inning and a two-run blast by Jon Berti that gave the Bisons a 4-3 lead in the seventh.

Raffy again: Lopez put the Bisons ahead,  2-1,  in the fourth with his team-high 12th homer of the season. He homered in all three games in Columbus.

Clip job: Richie Shaffer's 21st homer of the season gave the Clippers their first lead in the three-game series, 3-2, in the bottom of the sixth. Shaffer trails I.L. Dylan Cozens of Lehigh Valley by one in the home-run race. That Columbus lead was wiped out by Berti's homer in the seventh.

Welcome to the I.L.: Andrew Case, who was promoted from Double-A New Hampshire on Wednesday, gave up a home run to the first batter he faced in Triple-A. Nellie Rodrguez, who homered twice in the series opener on Monday, unloaded against Case to tie the game at 4-4 in the seventh. Case was 3-1 with Single-A Dunedin and 4-0 with New Hampshire before getting his call to Buffalo.

Series win: Tuesday night's 10-4 victory assured the Bisons of winning their first road series since they took two of three at Syracuse May 8-9-10. The only other series victory on the road was at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on April 14-15-16. Since then the Herd has lost 12 straight to the RailRiders. Buffalo's last series victory had been 2-1 over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Field June 5 and 7.

On to Louisville: The Bisons will close their first Western trip of the season with four games in Louisville starting with a 7:05 game (Radio 1520) tonight against the Bats. Right-hander Luis Santos is scheduled for the Bisons against right-hander Tyler Mahle.

 

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