BUFFALO- On Wednesday night at Coca-Cola Field, the Herd played to its third doubleheader split in eight days trading victories with the rival Rochester Red Wings.
Rochester got the twinbill started with a 5-3 victory, while the Bisons rebounded in the nightcap, 4-1. Buffalo split a pair of twinbills last week with the Norfolk Tides.
One-big inning and a great outing from Casey Lawrence helped the Herd hold onto first place in the IL North division. Buffalo scored four times in the third inning of game two while the righty allowed just an unearned run over five frames for his first victory of the season.
As has been the case so often this season, the Bisons took advantage of their opponent's miscues. Dwight Smith Jr. and the red-hot Mike Ohlman led off the third with singles before Nik Turley uncorked a pair of wild pitches to allow Smith Jr. to score. Jake Elmore's grounder to short three batters later should have ended the inning, but the ball was booted by Rochester's Bengie Gonzalez. Not only did that allow Ohlman to score but gave Ian Parmley to chance to score two more with his opposite field single.
That was plenty of offense for Lawrence. The righty didn't record a strikeout, but yielded only an unearned run in his fifth and final inning. He sent in a row at one point and only needed six pitches to get through fourth.
Leonel Campos closed out the win with a 1-2-3 seventh inning for his first save of the year. The win gives the Bisons a 15-9 record and maintains their 1.5 game lad on Rochester in the IL North.
While the Red Wings were unable to comeback in game two, the Bisons fell just short in game one. Trailing 4-0 early, Ohlman slugged his team-leading fifth home run of the year in the third to cut the lead in half.
Buffalo added another run on an Alex Monsalve sac fly in the fourth and appeared to have the game-tying run on the board in the fifth. With Rowdy Tellez on board with a double, Darrell Ceciliani hit a sharp single to right field. Tellez was waved home by Bisons manager Bobby Meacham, but was called out on a close play at the plate after a strong throw by Rochester's J.B. Shuck.
Meacham was ejected for arguing the play and Rochester held onto the lead. The Wings would add an insurance marker in the seventh on John Ryan Murphy's second home run of the season.
The Bisons and Red Wings will close out their three-game series Thursday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.