Bisons, Stoner roll to win
Not only did the Bisons win their fourth game in a row on Monday night, they welcomed their most valuable player back to the lineup.
After missing 37 games with a hand injury, slugger Mike Hessman returned to the line up and helped the Herd to a 6-2 victory over the Rochester Red Wings from Frontier Field.
Hessman doubled in his first at-bat in over a month and later drove in his 58th run of the season to give Buffalo the insurance they needed to defeat its closest rival.
Hessman took his swings wearing extra padding on the top of his right hand, but neither that nor the time off slowed the slugger’s torrid early-season pace. He finished Monday’s contest 2-5, starting with a lead-off double in the second inning.
Then in the eighth, with the Herd nursing a 3-2 advantage, Hessman hit a towering pop fly to left. Just in front of the wall, Rochester’s Matt Macri dropped the ball, allowing Luis Hernandez to score.
Three batters later, Hessman scored on Fernando Martinez’s double to make the score 5-2 Bisons. In the ninth inning, the team’s top run producer plated his 58th run of the season with an RBI-single to left.
Hessman had been out since being struck by a pitch on his right hand on June 6 in Norfolk. The Bisons were just 16-21 without their top slugger.
After trailing 2-0, Lucas Duda put the Herd on top in the sixth inning with a two-run home run. For Duda, the blast was his 10th of the season.
Tobi Stoner (5-7) earned the win. The righty allowed just two runs on three hits in six innings of work. He induced double plays in the fifth and sixth innings to keep the Red Wings within reach for the Bisons offense.
BISONS NOTES:The bullpen combination of Brian Bruney, Ryota Igarashi and Manny Acosta kept the Red Wings scoreless over the final three innings of the game…Luis Hernandez finished the game 3-5 with three runs scored…Prior to the game, the Red Wings held a mascot kickball game. Buster T. Bison kicked the game-winning three-run homer to win the contest for his squad.