The Buffalo Bisons were looking to generate some offense. And while it came from lots of places Friday night, the biggest hits came from third baseman Andy LaRoche.
LaRoche drove in five runs on a double and a home run to pace the Herd to a 9-7 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in front of 12,120 at Coca-Cola Field Friday night.
It was a seesaw game through the first four innings that saw the Bisons respond every time the IronPigs put a number on the board.
Lehigh Valley took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single from Maikel Franco. The Herd tied the game in the bottom of the inning thanks to back-to-back doubles from Kevin Pillar and A.J. Jimenez.
Jimenez tried to score from second on a bloop single by Erik Kratz, but he was easily out at the plate.
The IronPigs scored in the third as top prospect Franco added another RBI single.
But again, the Herd responded.
In the bottom of the inning, Jimenez had a two-out single followed by Brad Glenn’s sixth home run of the year as the Herd took a 3-2 lead.
Lehigh Valley scored two unearned runs in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead, but the Bisons again responded in the bottom half of the inning.
Kevin Nolan singled and Jared Goedert was hit by a pitch with both scoring on a double by LaRoche. A sacrifice to right by Darin Mastroianni later scored LaRoche, and the Herd gained a 6-4 advantage.
In the seventh, with two outs Nolan singled and Goedert drew a walk. LaRoche stepped up and crushed a pitch to left field for a three-run home run.
LaRoche came into the game with 14 RBI in 45 games with the Herd. He missed 25 games early the season as a lower back strain sidelined him from April 15 to May 11.
He played 104 games with the Bisons last year, ranking third on the club in average (.271), doubles (21), home runs (12), runs batted in (51) and extra-base hits (34).
Speaking of extra base hits, Pillar took the International League lead in doubles as his pair of doubles gave him 30 on the season. The club’s modern day record is 44, set by Jhonny Peralta in 2004.
Franco, the top ranked prospect in the Philadelphia Phillies’ organization, went 2 for 4 and drove in the first two runs for Lehigh Valley.
The IronPigs inched back in the game, scoring one run in the eighth and two in the ninth, but closer Bobby Korecky came in to close out the game.
Transaction news began early on Friday when the Toronto Blue Jays traded starter Deck McGuire to the Oakland Athletics for cash. The 25-year-old McGuire went 6-9 with a 4.21 ERA in 20 starts for the Herd this season.
The Herd added right-handed pitcher Sergio Santos, who was outrighted to the Bisons after being designated for assignment by the Blue Jays on July 22. Catcher Erik Kratz was in the lineup as the designated hitter after being optioned by the Jays.
Meanwhile infielder Mike McDade and outfielder Cory Aldridge were transferred to Double-A New Hampshire.