Lourdes Gurriel Jr. drove in five runs with a double and a game-winning three-run homer for the Buffalo Bisons in a 6-3 victory over the first-place Lehigh Valley IronPigs before 9,155 on a 63-degree night under clear skies in Allentown, Pa. It was only the sixth loss in 21 games for the Iron Pigs, who lead the International League's North Division.
Gurriel's third homer of the season snapped a 5-5 tie in the sixth inning and followed a leadoff triple by Andrew Guillotte and a walk to Jonathan Davis. Gurriel, who scored the game's first run after he was hit by a pitch in the first inning, doubled to left to send home two runs after two were out in the second inning.
The Buffalo bullpen came up huge after starter Jordan Romano gave up five runs on nine hits in the first three innings. Romano set the side down in order in the fourth , despite three hard-hit balls. Then the bullpen took over.
Zach Jackson and Javy Guerra each pitched two innings of shutout ball and Derek Law retired the side on 12 pitches in the bottom of the ninth to register his second save.
Shutting the door: The Iron pigs had only three baserunners the last six innings. Damek Toscha walked in the fifth but was erased on an inning-ending double play. Shane Robinson singled with one out in the sixth and was caught stealing on a throw from catcher Ppatrick Cantwell. Rob Brantly had a lead-off single in the eighth, but Guerra put away the next three batters.
Change of direction: The Bisons had little luck against the IronPigs last season, losing 14 of the 18 games in the series. Buffalo won only once at home against the Philadelphia Phillies' affiliate and were 3-8 at Coca Cola Park in Allentown, Pa.
Taking over: Gurriel, who is batting .364, shouldered some of the offensive load after the promotion of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to Toronto and an off night by cleanup hitter Cavan Biggio. who was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
On deck: The teams will wrap up the three-game series Sunday (Radio 1520, 1:35 p.m.) with Jacob Waguespack (2-2, 3.54) scheduled for the Herd against right-hander nick Pivetta (1-0, 6.00) for the IronPigs. Then, the Bisons come home to start a five-games in four days series with a doublehadere against Pawtucket on Monday starting at 5:35 p.m.