NORFOLK, Va. — It’s no secret that a potent batting attack has been mainly responsible for what success the Buffalo Bisons (31-25) have had this season.
The Herd put on another offensive show Monday afternoon, pounding three home runs and 13 hits in a 10-5 victory in the finale of a four-game series against the Norfolk Tides before 4,630 in Harbor Park.
The Bisons, who are second in the International League in team batting with a .281 average but next to last in earned-runs average (5.23), have scored four runs or more in 39 of their 56 games so far. They are 28-11 when they score four or more and only 3-14 when the score three or less.
Mauro Gomez hit a pair of home runs in the victory, giving him the team lead with 14 round trippers, one behind the league leader, Ernesto Mejia of the Gwinnett Braves. Both Gomez homers came after the Herd had built a 7-2 lead.
Josh Thole, normally a catcher, played first base and hit a two-run homer in the first to get the Bisons in front. Doubles by catcher Mike Nickeas and Eugenio Velez and Thole’s infield grounder produced two more runs in the third. Nickeas had another double to drive in two more runs in the Herd’s four-run fourth.
Claudio Vargas (4-5) made his 11th start for the Bisons, going five innings and turning over an 8-2 lead to the bullpen.
Jim Negrych of the Bisons went 2 for 4 to bring his batting average up to .358, good for a share of the league lead.
Shortstop Ryan Goins singled in Buffalo’s four-run fourth to extend his hit streak to eight games. He has reached base in 17 of his last 20 games
Winning three of the four games here to gain a final 4-4 split of the season series with the Tides sent the Bisons home on a pleasant note after they were swept in four games at Durham.
The Herd will open a four-game series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Field tonight (7:05 p.m., Radio 1520 AM) with Thad Weber (0-0, 0.00) scheduled to start for Buffalo against lefty Tom Cochran (0-2, 6.75).
The Bisons placed pitcher Michael Schwimer on the disabled list retroactive to May 31. He has allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings for Buffalo.