COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Buffalo Bisons put the final touches on a 10-game road trip with a doubleheader sweep of the Columbus Clippers on Thursday at Huntington Park. The Herd connected for four home runs in the International League contests, winning the opener, 5-3, and a seven-inning nightcap, 7-4.
Aaron Sanchez hopes that type of power follows the team back to Buffalo as the Blue Jays’ top prospect will make his Coca-Cola Field debut tonight (7 p.m., TWCSN, Radio 1520 AM) against the Rochester Red Wings in what is the start of an eight-day, nine-game homestand.
Sanchez (0-1, 9.00 ERA) will be opposed on the mound by Kris Johnson (6-3 2.60 ERA).
Buffalo and Columbus played two following Wednesday’s postponement due to severe thunderstorms. In the first game, play resumed in the top of the fourth inning with the Clippers leading, 3-1.
Jared Goedert put the Bisons in front, 4-3, with a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Darin Mastroianni added a solo homer in the eighth.
The Bisons’ 13-hit attack was led by Brad Glenn and Mastroianni (both 3 for 5). Kevin Pillar and Adron Chambers added two hits each.
The Bisons bullpen pitched six scoreless innings in game one. Esmil Rogers started Wednesday’s game, but after the game was called, Kyle Drabek got the call.
Drabek (5-6) earned the win, pitching five scoreless innings in relief, allowing just one hit. The win was Drabek’s first since May 22. Bobby Korecky pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the save.
In the second game, the Bisons rallied with a three-run second inning as Glenn’s go-ahead, two-run homer in the third gave the Herd a 5-4 lead. The Bisons’ Andy LaRoche added a solo in the fourth and another on an RBI single by Jonathan Diaz in the sixth.
The Bisons’ nine-hit attack was led by LaRoche, who had three hits with three runs scored and Pillar and Glenn with two hits each.
The Bisons finished the trip with a 4-6 record. The sweep snapped Columbus’ seven-game winning streak.
After giving up four runs to open the game, Austin Bibens-Dirkx settled down to pitch four scoreless innings. Rob Rasmussen and Korecky combined to pitch two scoreless in relief and Korecky picked up his second save of the day and team-leading eighth of the season. He also lowered his ERA to 0.23.
The Toronto Blue Jays confirmed that pitcher Ricky Romero had season-ending surgery on his left knee Tuesday. Recovery time for the former 15-game winner and American League All-Star is six months.
Romero was 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA in nine starts for the Bisons this season. He’s given up 37 hits and 42 walks in just 37∏ innings while striking out only 28.