If the Bisons wind up sneaking into the playoffs, they'll be looking back at Wednesday's doubleheader as a season saver.
The Bisons split the twinbill with Scranton/Wilkes Barre, but it very well could have been a sweep. The Bisons took game one, 6-5, before falling 8-3 in game two at PNC Field. The Bisons picked up half a game on Pawtucket in the International League wild card race and trail the Pawsox by 1.5 games with five games left to play.
Two losses on Wednesday would have made the Herd's chance's for wild card bid very slim.
Brett Wallace, just three days removed from hitting a walkoff grand slam against Pawtucket, hit a game-tying, three-run homer in the seventh inning of game one and Dan Johnson hit the go-ahead solo shot that wound up being the game-winner as the Bisons won, 6-5. Buffalo trailed Scranton/WB, 5-1, heading into the seventh inning.
A walk by Johnathan Diaz and back-to-back singles by Dalton Pompey and Anthony Gose started the inning. Cole Gillespie scored Diaz on a sacrifice fly and Wallace's home run tied the game at 5-5, before Johnson's game-winner.
Wallace was the only Bison to have a multi-hit performance in game one -- going 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Raul Valdes had another strong outing, but was hurt by some shaky defense behind him, that led to three unearned runs. The Herd made two costly errors that nearly cost them the game. Pompey made an error in center field during Scranton's five-run fourth inning that allowed three runs to score.
Valdes picked up the win, pitching six strong innings, allowing just two earned runs, while walking two and striking out four. Bobby Korecky came on to pitch a 1-2-3 seventh inning for his 21st save of the season.
In game two, Bisons right-hander Scott Copeland saw his scoreless streak come to an end, giving up six runs (four earned) in four ⅔ innings. It's rare for fielding to be a problem for the Bisons, but again, the Herd committed two errors that contributed to two unearned runs.
A throwing error by third baseman Matt Hague wound up costing the Bisons two runs. Diaz made a fielding error in the first inning, but it didn't wind up hurt Buffalo.
The Herd didn't get much going offensively. They started to rally with three runs in the fifth inning, but that's all they'd get. Gillespie was the bright spot offensively, going 3-for-4. The Bisons had eight hits as a team, but Gillespie was the only one to have a multi-hit game.
The Bisons have just five games remaining and get back at it Thursday night. Kendall Graveman (2-2, 1.36 ERA) will start for the Bisons against Scranton's Chris Leroux (6-3, 3.67 ERA).
Kevin Pillar, who was recently promoted to the Blue Jays, had a double and a run scored in a 5-2 win over Boston. Pillar had a double in Tuesday's game as well.