Buffalo 8, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 4, 1st game
Buffalo 6, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 2, 2nd game
One thing is certain:
When the Buffalo Bisons come home to Sahlen Field on Tuesday, they will return as a first-place team in the Northeast Division of Triple-A East.
The Herd (63-41) assured themselves of coming home in the division lead by sweeping a doubleheader, 8-4 and 6-2, over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (56-45) at PNC Field Saturday night. Buffalo has now won seven in a row and all six games so far in the seven-game series against the RailRiders that opened here last Tuesday.
In the opener, Buffalo, which has scored first in every game of the series and has trailed only once briefly by a run, took a 1-0 lead on a first-inning home run by Otto Lopez and went in front 4-2 with three runs in the fourth inning. After the RailRiders had tied the game in the fifth with a two-run homer by Trey Amburgey the Bisons put together a winning rally for four runs in the sixth.
Relievers Anthony Castro and Fitz Stadler shut out the RailRiders on one hit in the last two frames to preserve the victory for Thomas Hatch. Castro struck out the side in the sixth.
Kellin Deglan homered after a double by Richard Urena to get the Bisons in front in the second inning of the second game. The Herd broke the game open with three runs in the third, with one scoring on a double by Urena and the others coming home on an outfield error and a passed ball. Six Buffalo pitchers teamed up for the victory in the nightcap, allowing only three hits over the seven innings. Kyle Johnston went the first two innings.
How the first game was won: The Bisons filled the bases with no outs in the sixth on a single by Cullen Large, a walk to Nate Knight and a single by Logan Warmoth. Rodrigo Vigil sent the first run home with a sacrifice fly. Reggie Pruitt greeted Scranton reliever Sal Roman with an RBI single. The third run crossed on a wild pitch and Christian Colon’s sacrifice fly brought home Pruitt.
The Bisons went into the final series of the season against the RailRiders trailing 7-3. They now own a 9-7 advantage with one game left to play against the New York Yankees affiliate, Sunday’s series finale at 1:05 p.m.
Buffalo’s last loss was to Worcester, 8-7, on Aug. 28.
Star of the first game: Hatch (2-5) made his 13th start for the Bisons but it was only his fifth decision (2-3) as a starter for the Herd. He had seven no-decisions in a row as a starting pitcher. Hatch struck out six in his five innings in Saturday’s opener. The three Buffalo pitchers struck out 10 altogether over the seven innings.
Sunday: Lefty Nick Algeyer (4-4, 5.00) is listed as Buffalo’s starter in the single game against Yankees prospect Clarke Schmidt (0-0, 2.53) who will be making his third appearance against the Herd this week.