SYRACUSE- The Bisons kicked off their final series of the season with a win over Syracuse, 4-0, thanks to a productive third inning on Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium.
The Herd's big third frame got underway with a single from Jason Leblebijian and a walk from Roemon Fields. Christian Lopes took advantage of the runner in scoring position and swung a line drive to centerfield for a single to give Buffalo their first run of the evening. Fields and Lopes then each stole a base and Dwight Smith Jr. brought them home with a grounder towards centerfield.
The Leblebijian, Fields, Lopes, and Smith Jr. portion of the lineup played it smart from the batter's box in the sixth to tack on an insurance run. Leblebijian found his way to first base through a walk and Roemon Fields batted a flyball single to right field. On the play, Leblebijian reached third, allowing Fields to steal second for his second stolen bag of the evening on the ensuing at bat. Lopes walked to load the bases and Dwight Smith Jr. brought the final score of the day in with ball four after working an empty count.
Fields' pair of stolen bases on the day cemented him in the Bisons record books and broke a 23-year-old mark. His second of the day broke Tony Womack's single season record of stealing 41 bases on a season. With three games left, Fields has a great chance at padding that record with more.
Chris Rowley began the Herd's shutout effort with a scoreless three-inning performance. The righty had just a hit and a walk and handed out a pair of strikeouts. Chad Girodo then came out for long relief and provided three innings of work. Girodo had just a hit and a pair of walks in a strong appearance on the mound. Griffin Glaude provided a scoreless inning and Jeff Beliveau cemented the shutout with two perfect innings.
The Bisons return to action on Saturday night for the second of a four-game set with Syracuse at 7:05 p.m. Bisons' Most Valuable Pitcher Murphy Smith (4-5, 3.66 ERA) will be on the mound and the Chiefs will give the start to Esmil Rogers (3-2, 3.58 ERA).
BISONS NOTES: The Blue Jays announed their first round of September call-ups on Saturday. OF Teoscar Hernandez, OF Michael Saunders, C Luke Maile, and RHP Carlos Ramirez were all promoted from Buffalo...Three players were added to the Bisons as well on Saturday. LHP T.J. House was outrighted from Toronto, OF Anthony Alford made the jump up from Double-A New Hampshire, and RHP Griffin Glaude was called up from Single-A Lansing.