LOUISVILLE — Behind home runs and solid relief pitching, the Buffalo Bisons opened their road trip with a 7-5 win over the Louisville Bats Friday night.
The Bisons opened with a two-run double from Mauro Gomez.
Billy Hamilton answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the first but the Herd kept adding to its lead.
Eugenio Velez had a lead off home run in the second and Anthony Gose added a two-run shot for a 5-1 lead.
The Herd made it 6-1 in the fourth when Jim Negrych got on base with a single then moved to third on a two-base error. He scored on a wild pitch.
But the Bats crept back in with another solo shot from Hamilton then racked up three runs in the seventh to cut the lead to 6-5.
Reliever Neil Wagner struck out five straight Louisville batters and retired all eight batters he faced to shut down the Bats’ rally.
Gomez added a solo homer in the ninth.
Negrych extended his hitting streak to nine games. He went 2 for 4 for his 13th multi-hit game this season.
Earlier on Friday, the Toronto Blue Jays released left-handed pitcher Alex Hinshaw. The Herd reliever went 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 12 appearances. He had 16 strikeouts and 17 walks in 11 innings.
Tonight, Ricky Romero makes his Bisons debut in Louisville (6:05, Radio 1520 AM).
Romero was optioned to the Herd by the Blue Jays after the lefthander struggled in two starts for Toronto (4∑ innings, 12.46 ERA). In 2011, he was an All-Star, winning 15 games for Toronto. Last year he suffered a 13-game losing streak and started this season in extended spring training.