The Buffalo Bisons extended their winning streak to four games when they beat the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs by a score of 7-3 tonight at Coca-Cola Field.
In his fourth game with the Herd, first baseman Nick Evans set the pace for Buffalo’s offense this evening. Coming into today’s game with only three RBI in three games, Evans had four RBI in tonight’s contest. His four RBI came way by two two-run doubles he had in the first and fifth inning. Evans’ two-run double in the first inning gave the Bisons an early lead they would not relinquish.
On the bump tonight, Bisons starter Dillon Gee set the tone early by striking out the first two batters he faced and three of the first four. Gee gave Buffalo his 13th quality start of the year when he went 6.2 innings while giving up seven hits and only three runs. Gee also struck out five to bring his season total to 123.
With his five punch-outs Gee has jumped Randy Kramer for the third spot on the list of most strikeouts in a single season for the Bisons. Gee is now only 14 behind Vicente Palacios for the most in team history. His 123 strikeouts are also good enough for a tie atop the IL league leaders along with Jeremy Hellickson of the Durham Bulls.
Picking up the victory tonight, Gee has also reached the illustrious ten win mark and now stands at 10-7 for the season. He has joined Pat Misch as the first pair of Bisons teammates to both reach the double-digit mark in wins since 2004.
In 2004, the same year the Herd won the IL Championship, Kyle Denney (10-5) and Jack Cressend (10-1) were the last set of Bisons hurlers to get to the ten win mark. The Herd also now have two pitchers with ten wins after going four seasons without a pitcher to reach that mark. Jeremy Guthrie in 2005 was the last pitcher for Buffalo to do so when he went 12-10.
Entering the eighth inning the Bisons were ahead of Lehigh Valley 5-3 and added two insurance runs thanks to a pinch-hit home run from Russ Adams. Hitting for reliever Sean Green, Adams hit his eighth homer of the year that on a ball that just cleared the wall in right field. He’s the first Bison to hit a pinch-hit home run since Valentino Pascucci hit one back on July 15th against Gwinnett.
After taking the four-run lead, thanks to Adams, Jose De La Torre came in the game to seal the deal. After giving up a leadoff single in the ninth, De La Torre settled down and retired the next three batters to secure the win.
The victory over the Iron Pigs is now the fourth straight win for the Herd and their fifth consecutive over Lehigh Valley. The Bisons are now 7-4 against the Iron Pigs this season and with the win they improve to 56-53 for the year.
BISONS NOTES: The Bisons will finish up their four-game series with the Iron Pigs tomorrow night when Tobi Stoner (5-9, 6.04 ERA) faces Brian Mazone (5-11, 3.97 ERA) in the finale of the set. The Bisons will then have an off day and start another four-game home series with the Columbus Clippers starting Thursday.