ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The Buffalo Bisons come home tonight to begin the final home stand of the season just barely alive in the race for the International League wild-card playoff berth after Tuesday night’s 5-3 loss to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Park. The IronPigs’ rally consisted of four walks and a hit batter in the seventh inning.
For the second game in a row, the Herd couldn’t hold a lead and now trail by wild-card leader Norfolk by 3½ games with only six games left on the schedule.
Mauro Gomez hit his first home run since July 26 to get the Bisons off to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Jim Negrych singled home a run in the second to make it 3-0, but the IronPigs got back into it soon. They scored twice in the second with the help of a fielding error by shortstop Mike McCoy, his second costly miscue in two nights. Derrick Mitchell homered to lead off the fifth to tie it at 3-3. The IronPigs scored twice in the seventh after starter and loser Ricky Romero (4-8) walked the bases loaded. Brad Lincoln forced in both runs. First he hit Cody Overbeck with a pitch, then he walked Tyler Henson.
Gomez’s home run, his 29th, tied him with Zach Walters of Syracuse for the IL lead. Gomez was on the disabled list from Aug. 4 to Aug. 22.
The Bisons hit into three double plays and were only 3 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
Thad Weber (7-4, 2.69) will get the start against Scott Diamond (2-0, 1.93) of Rochester tonight (7:05 p.m., Radio 1520 AM) in the series opener. Thursday night’s home finale (6:05 p.m.) will be Fan Appreciation Night presented by Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino. The evening will feature prize giveaways. A postgame fireworks show, largest of the season, will wrap up the home schedule.