The Buffalo Bisons have been on the winning side in 31 games when they hit at least one home run. Saturday night, Rowdy Tellez slugged two, but the Durham Bulls more than matched that with three of their own and went on to defeat the Herd, 10-5, before 8,285 at Coca-Cola Field.
It was the first two-homer game for Tellez since the opening game of the the 2017 season and another sign that he may be developing into the prospect he was projected to be by the Toronto Blue Jays. With 10 homers, Tellez already has four more than in last season. His batting average (.254) is better than his .222 mark for all of last season. His RBI total is only 37 compared to 56 in 2017. One reason: Eight of his 10 homers have come with the bases empty and the other two with only one on.
Durham starter Forrest Snow, a 29-year-old veteran who signed as a minor league free agent with Tampa Bay last November, held the Bisons to two hits when he faced them in April. Saturday he needed only 32 pitches to get through the first three innings but didn't survive the fourth when the Bisons broke through for three runs on five hits including Tellez's first home run.
Points of interest: Durham nemesis Reese McGuire led off the third with a single, the Bisons' first hit and McGuire's fifth in 11 at-bats against the Bulls this season. ... Brandon Cumpton, making his second start for the Bisons, lasted only three-plus innings. He left after giving up a three-run homer to Kean Wong in the fourth, having thrown 84 pitches and 50 strikes.
Before that, he gave up a solo home run in the second inning to Nick Ciuffo, then two more runs on three hits in the third. After Cumpton left, reliever Zach Stewart was touched for a solo homer by Brandon Lowe. After their four-run fourth, the Bulls finished off the Herd with a single run in the sixth and two more in the eighth. After closing to 7-5, the Bisons were shut out on one hit the rest of the way by the Durham bullpen.
Noteworthy: Sean Reid-Foley, who has won six of his last eight starts with one loss and one no-decision will start today's series finale against the Bulls. ... The Bisons are 31-18 when they hit a home run and only 13-30 when they don't. With the win, Durham (4-2) clinched the season series against the Herd. ... With the win, the Bulls (56-42) maintained their four-game lead over Norfolk (52-46) in the South Division of the International League. ... Tellez struck out twice, once swinging, in his other two at-bats aside from his home runs.
Next: The teams will complete their regular season series today when Reid-Foley (6-2, 3.92) opposes a Durham starter to be determined. It's the turn of former Oregon State right-hander Andrew Moore, who was obtained by Tampa Bay from the Seattle Mariners in a May trade. After a day off Monday, Buffalo faces nine games in six days on the road starting with a doubleheader at Louisville. The Herd doesn't return to Coca-Cola Field until Monday, July 30, when the first-place Lehigh Valley IronPigs come in.