(bisons.com)- The Bisons were fairly quiet at the plate on Friday night.
The eighth inning was without question, an exception.
The Bisons blew open a one-run game with a five-run eighth inning to defeat the Clippers, 7-1, in front of 11,531 at Coca-Cola Field. The Bisons scored seven unanswered runs to finish their homestand 7-2.
"It was a really good job in the eighth inning there, super job," Bisons manager Gary Allenson said. "[We] put pressure on them there, we were aggressive running the bases, made them make some throws that weren't made accurately."
The Bisons pushed five runs across in the eighth on four hits and sent 10 batters to the plate. The Bisons, leading 2-1, loaded the bases with no outs, forcing the Clippers to put their infield up to keep it just a one-run game. AJ Jimenez and Andy LaRoche made them pay, sneaking two, two-run singles past the Clippers outstretched gloves. Ryan Goins then followed later in the inning with an RBI single.
"It's really nice for the manager when you can sit back and relax and tell a couple jokes there in the last inning," Allenson said. "I wish we could have done it a little earlier where I can relax for a couple more innings, but I'll take them in any inning."
After serving up a leadoff home run to Tyler Holt to start the game, Bisons starter P.J Walters pitched scoreless baseball before exiting at the start of the eighth inning. Walters went seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits, while striking out five in quality start. Walters gave up a leadoff triple to Giovanny Urshela in the seventh, but fought back to strand Urshela at third, inducing a fly ball and striking out two to end the inning.
"Obviously it was a great starting job by P.J Walters," Allenson said. "He was the key to the game along with the defense...He made a mistake the very first hitter, got ahead of him 0-2 and threw a fastball right down the middle of the plate, but other than that he was pretty good. He was aggressive with his fastball, looked like he used both sides of the plate and used the slider just enough to keep the guys off balance."
Holt protected the Clippers 1-0 lead early with a leaping catch in deep center field on a ball hit by Andy LaRoche that was destined to clear the fence or at the very least, fall in for extra bases. However, Ryan Schimpf, the very next batter, sent a ball to the same exact part of the ballpark and Holt couldn't reach it, for a solo homer. The Bisons added an unearned run to take a 2-1 lead.
For majority of the game, Buffalo had to a protect the one-run lead and the defense was up to the challenge.
Ryan Goins wowed the crowd with his glove in the sixth inning. Goins' made stellar defensive plays from his shortstop position to protect the Bisons 2-1 lead. Goins made a diving stop behind the bag at second and threw out Tyler Holt from his knees for the first out of the inning. Two batters later, Goins was at it again to complete an outstanding double play.
After Elliot Johnson singled, Jared Goedert fielded a grounder to his right at first base. He threw the ball in the dirt at second, but Goins dove to dig it out of the dirt and completed the 3-6-1 with a strong throw to first from his knees.
"You kind of expect [those plays] now days because it seems like [Goins] does it every night," Allenson said.
Seven Bisons registered hits in the win, led by Goins who went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Jimenez and LaRoche each went 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
The Bisons finished their homestand 7-2 and have now won nine of their last 11 games. The Herd will hit the road for a four-game series at Syracuse that starts on Saturday. Esmil Rogers (2-1, 3.00 ERA) will get the start for the Bisons in game one.