If you like a little drama with your baseball, Wednesday’s twin bill between the Buffalo Bisons and Columbus Clippers at Coca-Cola Field was for you.
The Bisons kicked it off with a 5-4 win in 13 innings in the completion of Tuesday’s suspended game. In the second game, the Herd erased a two-run deficit to earn a 3-2 win, in a contest scheduled for seven innings.
The second game was a match up of top young pitchers.
The Herd started 21-year old Aaron Sanchez. The top prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays organization was good but not consistently crisp. Sanchez struck out seven, including the last batter he faced in the fifth inning. But he walked four and threw too many pitches in the fourth inning. In that 28-pitch inning, he gave up a single and a walk to the first two batters. Carlos Moncrief stole third and then scored on a sacrifice to deep right by Adam Abraham.
Giovanny Urshela then added a solo home run off reliever Raul Valdes in the fifth as the Clippers took what seemed like a large 2-0 lead.
That’s because Danny Salazar was dealing through the first four innings, allowing just two hits – a first-inning double to Kevin Pillar and a fourth-inning double to A.J. Jimenez. He got the first two outs of the fifth, but Darin Mastroianni singled and Adron Chambers homered to tie the game.
In the sixth, singles from Andy LaRoche and Ryan Schimpf put runners on the corners with one out. LaRoche scored the winning run on a throwing error by shortstop Audy Ciriaco, who tried to make the play on LaRoche at home on an infield hit from Erik Kratz.
The Bisons and Clippers resumed Tuesday’s suspended game in the afternoon, a contest the Herd won on an RBI single from Chambers. With one out, Mastroianni drew a walk and then stole second. He scored on the hit from Chambers, who had been 0 for 6 before driving in the wining run.
The opener on Wednesday was picked up in fourth inning after storms on Tuesday forced the suspension of the game. When the game was halted, Brad Glenn was batting with a 1-2 count, a runner on first and one out. But with Glenn called up to Toronto before the game, the recently returned Pillar took his spot in the lineup. Pillar had been called up to the Jays on Monday.
The Herd took a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning, starting with one out back-to-back singles from LaRoche and Goins. Ryan Schimpf drove a ball deep to right and LaRoche scored on the sacrifice for a 4-3 lead.
But Bobby Korecky gave up an uncharacteristic run in the ninth. With two outs and a runner on second he issued a walk. Then a single from Tim Fedroff tied the game, 4-4. It was the third run Korecky has given up all year and his first blow save in 10 attempts.
Glenn earned his first Major League call-up to the Blue Jays as the outfielder hit .377 with 22 RBIs in 31 games with the Herd. To make room for Glenn on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays designated Jonathan Diaz for assignment.
The Bisons activated Kratz, a catcher who was optioned by the Blue Jays on Monday, along with catcher Mike Nickeas, who missed 10 games on the disabled list.
The series continues today (1:05 p.m., Radio 1520) with righty Deck McGuire (3-2, 5.03) scheduled to start for the Herd against righty Zach McAllister (2-0, 2.12). The homestand concludes on Friday (7:05 p.m.) with P.J. Walters (1-0, 1.80) scheduled to start against Kyle Davies (4-4, 3.81).
The Bisons open a four-game series in Syracuse on Saturday then return home for a three-game set July 2-3 against Scranton/WB, with a doubleheader on July 2.