All the Bisons needed was a little sunshine.
When the clouds finally parted above Coca-Cola Field, the Herd went to work on a second walk-off victory in less than 24 hours. Kevin Pillar's two-run triple in the bottom of the ninth inning made Buffalo a winner for the fifth straight game.
A mostly soggy afternoon wasn't going the Herd's way for most of the contest. Charlotte scored in each of their first four at-bats and any Buffalo comeback attempt was greeted with a steady rain from the second inning on.
But halfway through Darin Mastroianni's at-bat to lead off the ninth inning, the sunshine broke through the clouds. Two pitches later -and with Bisons fans still cheering on the sun's arrival, Mastroianni lofted a single into centerfield and the rally was on.
Ryan Goins followed with a perfect bunt up the third base line. This time, the rain aided the Herd's efforts as Knights' catcher Josh Phegley slipped on the wet ground when setting up for a throw onto first. Goins was safe and the Bisons had the hottest hitter in the International League at the plate.
Pillar, who already extended his IL-best hit streak to 15 games with a single in the first inning, drove an 0-2 pitch from David Purcey deep to right-centerfield. The ball flew just past the outstretched glove of Blake Tekotte and sloshed its way towards the wall. Mastroianni and Goins scored without a throw, giving the Bisons a 6-5 win.
The assist in the victory goes to the Bisons bullpen with dominate work by Rob Rasmussen and Ryan Terpera. Keeping the game within reach, Rasmussen struck out four in two hitless innings. Tepera earned the win by doing one better, fanning four over three frames without a hit.
The Bisons trailed 3-0 in the second inning but cut that deficit to one with an RBI-single from Mike Nickeas and one of Munenori Kawasaki's two doubles on the day. Goins and Dan Johnson drove in runs in the seventh to pull Buffalo to within, 5-4.
Munenori Kawasaki made just his second professional start at third base. He doubled twice in the loss…Ryan Goins finished game 3-5 with his second consecutive multi-hit performance in as many games…Bisons pitchers collected double-digit strikeouts for the third time in the last four games.