Reese McGuire's two-run homer in the fifth inning propelled Buffalo into the lead, and the Bisons went on to a 6-1 victory over the Durham Bulls Wednesday in the finale of their six-game road trip to Virginia and North Carolina.
An Education Day crowd of of 8,986 turned out for the morning start and saw the Herd salvaged the final game of a three-game series at Durham Bulls Athletic Park and end a three-game losing streak.
Lefty Ryan Borucki (1-2) pitched six strong innings for Buffalo, allowing five hits and striking out seven. With the exception of a home run ball allowed by Al Alburquerque in the seventh, Bisons relief pitching was perfect. Jake Petricka retired all six batters he faced the last two innings for the save.
The Durham runs came on bases-empty homers by Adam Moore in the third off Borucki and by Jason Coats in the seventh off the veteran Alburquerque. Durham had only six hits and left only three runners on base because the Bisons turned three ground balls into double plays.
McGuire's homer in the fourth came after a one-out double by Rowdy Tellez and a single by Anthony Alford had tied the game at 1-1.
Tim Lopes scored the fourth Buffalo run in the fifth on an infield out by Danny Espinosa. Lopes had led off with a single, his second hit of the game. Gift Ngoepe singled in the ninth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dalton Pompey.
Noteworthy: Lopes hit in his ninth straight game in his Triple-A debut. He leads the IL with a .452 batting average. He was one of four Bisons with two hits in Wednesday's victory. ... It was only the 34th win for Buffalo in 82 games at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, a .414 winning percentage. ...The loss dropped Durham to 8-10. The Tampa Bay Rays affiliate is the IL's defending Governors Cup champion and Triple-A national champion. ... Even in the win, the Bisons turned in another double-digit strikeout performance. They went down on strikes 12 times.
Next: The Bisons have a off day today then will open a three-game home stand against the Pawtucket Red Sox on Friday (Radio 1520, 6:05 p.m.) at Coca-Cola Field.