ROCHESTER – Liam Hendriks showed again Wednesday night why he deserves a spot on the International League All-Star roster for next week’s game against the Pacific Coast League stars.
Backed by three home runs, the Buffalo Bisons right-hander pitched eight strong innings in a 6-2 victory over the Rochester Red Wings before 6,333 at Frontier Field in the finale of a five-game series between the teams.
After being on the road since July 3, the Bisons will return home to begin a four-game series against the Durham Bulls tonight (7:05 p.m., Radio 1520 AM) at Coca-Cola Field.
In pitching eight complete frames for the third time this season, Hendriks (7-1) allowed six hits and one walk while striking out four. He posted his first victory since June 8 at Syracuse. Hendriks is 1-1 with three no-decisions in five starts since then.
Ryan Tepera set the Wings down in order in the ninth to wrap up Buffalo’s eighth victory in 12 games against their Thruway Series rivals.
Kevin Pillar, who had three hits and drove in three runs, got the Herd off to a good start with a leadoff homer in the first inning. It was his third of the season for Buffalo. Brad Glenn’s two-run shot later in the frame made it 3-0.
Ryan Goins started the second with a double and he came home on a two-bagger by Pillar, which drove in two runs for a 5-0 advantage.
Pillar raised his batting average to .308 and raised his RBI total to 29 in 62 games with the Bisons.
Jared Goedert homered in the sixth – his 10th – for the other Bisons run.
The Red Wings touched Hendriks for single runs in the fourth and sixth innings. He set the side down in order in four of his eight innings, twice getting help by double plays behind him.
Young prospect Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 4.44), still looking for his first Triple-A victory, will get the start for the Bisons tonight against lefty Enny Romero (3-10, 5.62).
The teams are scheduled for night games on Friday and Saturday with a Sunday matinee. Friday’s game will be preceded by the induction of Bob Miske, Greg Tubbs and Eric Wedge into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame.
Durham (50-44) leads the IL’s South Division by 6½ games over the Gwinnett Braves. The Bulls are the only South Division team with a record over the .500 mark. Buffalo is third in the North Division, 7½ games behind the Syracuse Chiefs and trailing Rochester by 4½.
Tonight will be the first meeting of the season between the Bisons and the Bulls.