If it seems like the Buffalo Bisons are playing a lot of games against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this week, well, they are.
The Herd and RailRiders will play six games in four days at Sahlen Field, starting with Monday’s weather-forced doubleheader beginning at 5:35 p.m.
The teams will play one game Tuesday, a doubleheader Wednesday (which includes a make-up game from April 19) and another game Thursday.
Last year, the Bisons played six games in four days against Rochester. Buffalo won five of the six games.
“While we always try to avoid situations like this, it is sometimes unavoidable as we strive to play every game on the schedule,” Chris Sprague, an administrator in the International League office, wrote in an email.
Sprague said that league rules prohibit “two consecutive doubleheaders or three doubleheaders in a seven-day period.”
The first game of tonight’s doubleheader will begin with Buffalo up, 1-0, in the top of the third inning to continue the April 20 game.
Buffalo fans are expected to get a chance to watch New York Yankees’ shortstop Didi Gregorius play on Tuesday and Wednesday as he continues rehabbing the torn UCL he suffered last October.
Gregorius has hit 72 home runs and has 243 RBIs in his last three seasons with New York.
The Bisons avoided the sweep on Sunday defeating the Rochester Red Wings, 9-5, at Frontier Field. The start of the game was delayed more than an hour due to a late-morning rain.
Patrick Kivlehan smacked two homers, and Billy McKinney and Socrates Brito also went deep.
Kivlehan, who also homered twice in Friday night’s game, was 4-for-5 at the plate on Sunday. Since joining the Bisons on May 28, he’s hitting .333 (7-for-21) with five RBIs. He has eight round-trippers in Triple A this season, which includes four with Indianapolis.
Buffalo fell behind 2-0 in the second inning as starter Sean Reid-Foley (2-3) gave up bases-loaded walks to Drew Maggi and Nick Gordon. Reid-Foley walked five but also fanned five in 5 1/3 innings.
McKinney got the Bisons on scoreboard in the third inning with a two-run double to right field, scoring Michael De La Cruz and Teoscar Hernandez. McKinney was thrown out at third on the play to end the inning.
The Bisons took the lead for good in the fourth inning as Alen Hanson knocked in Richard Urena for a 3-2 advantage.
McKinney and Kivlehan went back-to-back with home runs in the fifth to push the lead to 6-2. McKinney blasted a two-run shot 421 feet to right-center field, scoring Brito and ending losing pitcher Kohl Stewart’s day on the mound. Kivlehan then sent a Zack Weiss pitch 411 feet over the left-center field fence. The ball hit the scoreboard.
Brito homered for the third time this season, a two-run blast off former Bison reliever Preston Guilmet in the eighth inning.
Matt Dermody made his 2019 debut following Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for all but five games in 2018. Dermody allowed three hits and a pair of runs to the first three Red Wings he faced. However, he was able to strike out Brent Rooker and Randy Cesar and got former Bison Jordany Valdespin to fly out to end the inning.