The Buffalo Bisons' situation looked perilous on Saturday night. They had the lead, but Lehigh Valley was threatening. The IronPigs had runners on second and third and two outs. Logan Moore stood at the plate with his team trailing by one. A Jon Berti gaffe earlier in the inning opened the door for the IronPigs to take advantage, and Bisons southpaw Tim Mayza fell behind in the count, 3-1. After throwing the next pitch for a called strike, he caught Moore looking to escape the jam and preserve the Buffalo lead.
And with that, the game soon turned secure. Jason Leblebijian's two-RBI double in the bottom half gave the Bisons some insurance, and Chris Smith could afford allowing a solo shot to J.P. Crawford in the final frame. Buffalo (49-64) won its fourth game in as many days in a 6-4 triumph over Lehigh Valley (67-46) at Coca-Cola Field. All four wins have come against the division's top two teams, and the Bisons are finally showing signs of life even when it's too late in the season.
Gregorio the great: Buffalo shortstop Gregorio Petit scored half of the Bisons' six runs, one in the second, the go-ahead score in the seventh and one more in the eighth. He also drove in the game-tying run in the seventh, scoring Danny Jansen from first on a no-out double to center. Petit then singled in the eighth with one out on a bloop to right field, moving Teoscar Hernandez to third before both scored on Leblebijian's double to left later in the inning.
Santos struggles: Bisons starter Luis Santos continued his subpar year, turning in four innings of five-hit, two-run, four-walk ball. He didn't allow a hit in the first two innings but allowed four baserunners, all via walks. Santos struck out the side in the third, but he struggled in his final inning, surrendering two runs on four hits. The first three batters of the inning registered hits, including a Pedro Florimon two-run shot that tied the game at two. The right-hander didn't factor in the decision, so he stayed at 3-9 on the year.
Danny boy: Jansen has impressed in his first two games as a Bison, following up his strong debut with a 1-for-3 showing Saturday, which included scoring the game-tying run on Petit's double in the bottom of the seventh. Friday night, Jansen went 1-for-2 with a two-RBI double and run scored. He came to the Bisons on Friday from Double-A New Hampshire, where he hit .291 with 20 RBIs in 52 games.
League leader: Lehigh Valley No. 3-hitter Rhys Hoskins sent Murphy Smith's first pitch of the game into orbit over the left-field wall. The shot was his league-leading 27th and put the IronPigs up, 3-2, in the top of the fifth. Hoskins also leads the International League with 84 RBIs.
Yikes: The IronPigs went an abysmal 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Florimon's homer came with a runner on first and Hoskins' led off the inning. Crawford's came with two outs and nobody on in the ninth.
Switching it up: Switch-pitching Pat Venditte made an appearance Saturday night, relieving Lehigh Valley starter Ben Lively with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. The former Bison, throwing left-handed, struck out Rowdy Tellez with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, which led Tellez to slam his helmet, bat, elbow pads and batting gloves into the ground.
Attendance: 8,401 watched the Bisons win their fourth consecutive game.
Up next: Buffalo concludes its brief homestand Sunday afternoon, when the Bisons go for the sweep of the IronPigs at 1:05 (Radio 1520 AM). Chris Rowley (3-4, 2.81 ERA) is schedule to start for the hosts and Jose Taveras (1-0, 0.00) for the visitors.