It doesn't matter if it's April or August, there's never a bad time to be in first place.
The Bisons took sole position of the top spot in the International League North division Monday with a 9-4 victory over the Red Wings at Coca-Cola Field. T.J. House threw five shutout innings and Jason Leblebijian drove home three as the Herd handed their closest rival their first defeat of the season.
Buffalo has now started 4-0 for the first time since the 2014 season. First place belongs to the Bisons for the first time since May 3, 2015.
On Monday, the Bisons followed the same recipe that gave them a trio of victories over the weekend: solid pitching and timely hitting. House allowed just two singles while striking out five to pick up his first victory in a Buffalo uniform. Working quickly, he faced just two over the minimum before working out of a bases-loaded jam to end the fifth.
By that point, the Bisons had built a 4-0 lead thanks in large part to the bat of Jason Leblebijian. Buffalo's shortstop punctuated a three-run, two-out rally for the Bisons in the second inning by plating a pair on a single through the left side. Two innings later, he drove a full-count offering from Rochester starter Jason Wheeler into the netting beyond the left field wall for his second home run in as many days.
The two-out hits kept coming as the Bisons poured on the runs late. Mike Ohlman singled home a pair with two gone in the seventh inning for a 6-2 cushion. Rowdy Tellez had a two-out, two-run knock in a three-run eighth inning that put the game away for Buffalo.
In their first four wins of the season, the Bisons have 15 hits in 31 at-bats with runners in scoring position, a .484 clip. Eight different Bisons had hits in this one with six different batters coming around to score.
Danny Barnes worked the final 1.2 innings for his second save of the season. He now has seven saves in his first 19 appearances at Triple-A.
The Bisons will look for their fifth straight win on Tuesday with another 1:05 p.m. Anderson's Kid's Week game against Rochester. Southpaw Brett Oberholtzer will make his Buffalo debut for the Herd.
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