LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Buffalo Bisons’ offense apparently has figured out how to put some runs on the scoreboard once again. Not surprisingly, some wins have followed.
The Bisons had a pair of home runs as they defeated the Louisville Bats, 8-0, in Louisville Slugger Field on Saturday night. Buffalo has gone 4-2 in its current road trip, and they have scored 42 runs in those six games. That included a season-high 13 runs on Friday night.
Power surge: The Bisons had hopes that Michael Saunders could supply some power for them after he joined the team. He delivered his first home run of the season Saturday. The fourth inning blast with no one on opened the scoring. Saunders now has a four-game hitting streak.
Then a more familiar source of offense, Jason Leblebijian, supplied a solo homer in the fifth. After Roemon Fields singled home Jon Berti, Dwight Smith Jr. hit a two-run bomb to make it a 5-0 lead at the end of four and a half. Smith had three RBIs on the night.
More from Mike: Saunders drove in another run with a double in the top of the seventh, and then scored from that base on a wild pitch. The veteran also had a double in the top of the ninth, as Buffalo added its eighth and final run. Saunders finished 3 for 5 with three runs scored.
On the mound: Chris Rowley (4-3) is on a good streak right now. The Buffalo hurler threw seven scoreless innings, allowing only five hits - his best start in Triple-A. He walked one and struck out three. Rowley went six scoreless innings in his last start, a July 17 win at Columbus. Rowley’s ERA fell to 2.27.
Andrew Case finished the shutout for the Herd. He threw two shutout innings in relief.
Rookie Davis of the Bats (0-1) gave up five runs in 4.2 innings. Three Louisville pitchers cleaned up after Davis left the game.
West Coast Offense: Maybe the sight of teams in the IL West is all the Bisons needed to change direction. Buffalo is 9-3 against that grouping after the win on Saturday. Last year, the Bisons finished 19-6 against Western teams.
Coming up: The Bisons have one more game in this road trip (6:05 p.m., Radio 1520 AM). Lefty T.J. House (7-9) will get the start for Buffalo, while lefty Cody Reed (3-5) will be throwing for the Bats. The Bisons return home on Monday to play Durham as they open a seven-game home stand.