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Alford has key homer as Bisons beat Mud Hens

Anthony Alford hit a three-run homer in his return to the Buffalo lineup and Andy Burns and Michael De La Cruz had back-to-back blasts for the Bisons in a 7-2 win over the Toledo Mud Hens on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio.

Alford had last played for the Bisons on June 23 before he was out of action with an oblique injury. He joined the Bisons this week after beginning his rehab with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays in Florida.

Alford’s homer in the sixth came after Richard Urena had singled and Rowdy Tellez doubled to start the inning.

Tellez led off the fifth with the first of his two doubles in the game and scored on a single by Socrates Brito. Then Burns, last week’s International League Batter of the Week, and De La Cruz went to work.

Burns took a 1-1 pitch to left for his 12th home run and team leading 92nd hit of the season. De La Cruz followed with a drive to left-center for his fourth of the season.

Conor Fisk had perhaps the most impressive of his 12 starts for the Bisons. Fisk struck out 10 of the 19 batters he faced. Of his 89 pitches, 58 were for strikes.

In all, three Buffalo pitchers recorded 12 strikeouts. On the other hand, the Bisons went down on strikes 12 times against five Toledo pitchers.

The Bisons had only one base runner the first four innings, and he was erased on a double play, before their four-run explosion in the fifth. Buffalo had nine hits but left only two runners on base in an efficient offensive performance.

Ronny Rodriguez, who was 2 for 5 in Toledo’s 7-5 win on Tuesday night, had two of the Mud Hens’ eight hits on Wednesday. He’s batting .313. Frank Schwindel was 3 for 5 for Toledo and is batting .400 in limited action since he came up from Double-A Erie.

T.J. Zeuch (3-1, 4.93) is scheduled to get the start for the Bisons in the series finale Thursday night (Radio 1520, 7:05 p.m.) against veteran Edwin Jackson (0-2, 5.87).

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