Longballs help Clippers set sail

The Buffalo Bisons will hold their annual home run derby this Sunday before Herd takes on the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. The Herd and the Clippers got a head start as they treated tonight’s game like a home run derby with the two teams combining to hit eight home runs in a 11-8 Columbus victory at Huntington Park.

The eight home runs from the two teams was the most any game involving the Herd has seen this year. The previous record was when Buffalo and Syracuse combined for six back in early July.

The Clippers got the slugfest going early as Michael Brantley and Josh Rodriguez hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning off of Bisons starter Tobi Stoner. Brantley and Rodriguez’s consecutive homers was the first time a Bisons opponent left the yard in back-to-back fashion since Iron Pigs Andy Tracy and Michael Taylor accomplished the feat back on August 14 of last season.

Lou Marson added another solo home run in the second inning to stretch the lead to 3-0 in favor of the home squad.

The Herd would get two of those runs back in the top half of the third when Valentino Pascucci had a two-run double to score Lucas Duda and Justin Turner to trim Columbus’ lead to one.

In his first game back from the DL, Pascucci looked like he didn’t miss a beat. For the night Pascucci went 2-4 and added his 12th home run of the season in the fifth inning.

Matt McBride swatted another home run when he sent one over the left field fence to bring the lead back to two. In his second at-bat in his Triple-A career, McBride accounted for the fourth solo home run that Stoner gave up on the night.

Making his twentieth start for the Herd this season, Stoner (5-9) didn’t have his best outing. The right hander tossed four innings while giving up nine hits and allowing seven runs to cross the plate.

Columbus broke the game open in the fifth inning when they scored three runs putting them ahead 7-4. Two runs came by way of McBride’s second hit in his Triple-A debut as he had a two-run double with the bases loaded to drive home Rodriguez and Jordan Brown.

While Stoner wasn’t having that great of a day on the mound, second baseman Justin Turner had arguably his best day of the season at the plate. Turner went 4-4 tonight, extending his hit streak to six games and adding two home runs. He was also just a triple shy of the cycle. Turner hit solo home runs in the fifth and seventh innings to bring his season total to six.

The Herd attempted to crawl back in the eighth when Ruben Tejada doubled to score Mike Cervenak and a fielding error from Clippers pitcher Shane Lindsay scored Fernando Martinez and Tejada made it a two-run game. Buffalo could not get any more on the board as Lindsay rebounded to get himself out of the inning and put a stop to the comeback attempt.

The Bisons now drop to 52-53 with the defeat while the Clippers sit at 66-41.

BISONS NOTES: The Herd will try to get back on track as they wrap up their eight game road trip tomorrow against the Clippers. Ramon Ortiz will take on a pitcher still to be announced tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. The Bisons will then return home for an eight game, nine day home stand where they will have four-game series’ with the Iron Pigs and the Clippers.

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