ALLENTOWN, Pa. — After two no-decisions and a 12.00 ERA after his first couple of starts, Miguel Batista’s luck changed in a big way on Sunday.
The Bisons starter allowed just two baserunners and retired 15 straight to lead the Herd to a 4-1 win over Lehigh Valley. The International League game was played before 9,032 at Coca-Cola Park.
The win was the seventh in a row for Buffalo, which had assumed first place in the IL North on Saturday with a doubleheader sweep of the IronPigs.
Batista combined with relievers Brad Lincoln and Neil Wagner on a two-hitter as the Herd moved to 11-4 following a 4-4 start.
It’s been a good weekend for the Buffalo starters. Dave Bush and Claudio Vargas each tossed six innings in the Herd’s doubleheader sweep on Saturday night. With Batista, the three have combined to allow just two earned runs in 18 innings in the three victories over the weekend.
Batista threw 49 of his 78 pitches for strikes. In six innings he gave up one hit and a walk, the only two baserunners he allowed. The run against him was unearned, scoring on a fielding error in the sixth.
In his last start Batista allowed three runs in 2∑ innings on April 17 in Syracuse. In his season debut he was chased after ∏ innings, giving up three runs to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Lincoln retired all six batters he faced to get to the ninth inning for Wagner, who earned his fourth save.
The Bisons did all their scoring in the sixth inning. Andy LaRoche singled home Mauro Gomez ahead of Lance Zawadzki’s two-run grounder through the infield. They were Zawadzki’s first RBIs of the season. Ryan Goins added a third run-scoring single for a 4-0 Buffalo lead.
LaRoche finished 2-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.
Buffalo can sweep its second four-game series in a row today (10:30 a.m., MLB, Radio 1520 AM). The Bisons’ Justin Germano (2-1, 8.44) is the scheduled starter against Tyler Cloyd (0-2, 7.07).