Team home run leader Jason Leblebijian hit his 10th of the season -- a grand slam -- and Chris Rowley pitched six strong innings Monday night in a big victory for the Buffalo Bisons.
The Herd (30-25) scored a resounding 9-4 triumph over the first-place Lehigh Valley IronPigs (35-27) in the opener of their four-game International League North Division series before 7,923 at Coca-Cola Field in Allentown, Pa.
Leblebijian’s slam, the third of the season for Buffalo, made it 5-1, and Darnell Sweeney followed with a solo homer to give Rowley a five-run cushion.
Rowley (4-3) allowed only one hit, the first of two bases-empty homers by Trevor Plouffe, over six innings. Rowley struck out seven before he was relieved by new acquisition Rhiner Cruz with two outs in the sixth.
Noteworthy: It was the Bisons’ first win over Lehigh Valley after three losses in Allentown last month. … Three of the eight eight homers Rowley has allowed this season have come at Lehigh Valley.
Next: Right-hander Nick Tepesch (0-0, 0.00) will start against IronPigs righty Enyel De Los Santos (6-3, 1.63) tonight (Radio 1520, 6:05 p.m.) in the first game of a doubleheader. Luis Santos (2-0, 2.08) goes against Tom Eshelman (1-5, 7.06) in the nightcap.