It's been 10 days since Nick Tepesch took the mound. The 28-year-old righty was on paternity leave as his wife gave birth to their second child.
His return to the mound went seamlessly.
Tepesch pitched six shutout innings with seven strikeouts to lead the Buffalo Bisons to a 4-0 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox at Coca-Cola Field Tuesday night.
"I was commanding my fastball pretty well for the most part and the curve ball was really good tonight," Tepesch said. "Those were the two main pitches that I rode pretty hard. I mixed in a few sliders but overall just commanded the ball and commanded the zone and made pitches.
"I don't typically strike out a lot of people so it's going to happen when it's going to happen and you pick your spots to try and put guys away when you're in those situations but for the most part, I'm just going after contact and trying to get quick outs."
Tepesch, who has 44 Major League starts in his career, last pitched Aug. 19 for the Toronto Blue Jays against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. He had made four starts for the Blue Jays this season. This was his third start with the Herd where he's 2-0. Overall on the season, including six games with five starts in Rochester, Tepesch is 3-3 with a 4.21 ERA in Triple A.
Round-trippers: Teoscar Hernandez continues to be impressive since coming to the Blue Jays organization in a trade-deadline deal with the Houston Astros. The outfielder had a two-run home run in the first, giving him four home runs in his last seven games.
Leblebijian adds to his RBI total: Luke Maile drew a lead-off walk in the second and a double from Jason Leblebijian drove him him for a 3-0 Bisons lead. It was his team-leading 60th RBI and 21st double of the season for Leblebijian.
Lost it in the lights: Hernandez picked up another RBI, and a double, thanks to a misplayed ball by Bryce Brentz in right field. Brentz went over to play what looked like an easy fly to right, but he lost track of the ball and it dropped a few feet away from him. That allowed Christian Lopes to score, after he drew his second walk of the game. The run gave the Herd a 4-0 lead in the fourth.
Nearly impossible to hit: Carlos Ramirez continued his streak of not allowing an earned run. All season. The reliever had not allowed an earned run in 14 innings with the Bisons and in 37 2/3 this season.
He's given up just six hits in those 14 innings, thanks in part to his crafty slider.
"I've never seen a slider do that," Bisons manager Bobby Meacham said. "I mean it just kind of takes a left turn three-quarters of the way to the plate. It's a pretty good slider and he keeps them honest with that fastball on both sides of the plate. As long as he's throwing strikes and down in the zone, he's going to be hard to hit."
Roster moves: The Toronto Blue Jays top left-handed prospect Ryan Borucki was promoted to Buffalo and will start for the Herd on Thursday. Borucki, drafted by the Blue Jays in the 15th round in 2012, started the season in Class A Dunedin. In 19 games (18 starts) he went 6-5 with a 3.58 ERA. In seven starts with Double-A New Hampshire, he went 2-3 with a 1.94 ERA.
WCC Race: In the penultimate race for Celery, it was another loss. Atomic took an early lead, fighting off getting hit by a rosin bag tossed from the Bisons bullpen. Atomic joined by Carrot, who ran onto the field from the tunnel, tripped Celery. Atomic went on to take the win.
Harvey Relief: The Bisons joined teams throughout Minor League Baseball in an effort to help raise funds to help Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Bisons.com auction. Up for bid right online through 9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3 are four auction items, each including four free tickets to the 2018 Bisons home opener. The items include an autographed Mike Ohlman Superhero Night jersey, an autographed Dalton Pompey Star Wars Night jersey, an autographed Chris Colabello 2016 Star Wars Night jersey, and a 2017 Buffalo Bisons team-signed baseball.
Attendance: There were 8,166 at Coca-Cola Field Tuesday night.
Up next: The penultimate home game for the Buffalo Bisons is Wednesday as they host Pawtucket at 7:05 p.m. Brett Oberholtzer is scheduled to start for the Herd with the Red Sox scheduled to start Roenis Elias.