The Bisons have stormed out to an 8-4 start to the 2017 season because on most nights, they are the team that comes up with the big hits. On Wednesday night at Coca-Cola Field, that distinction belonged to the Norfolk Tides.
Catcher Chance Sisco hit a three-run double and infielder Paul Janish added a three-run homer as the Tides defeated the Bisons, 9-5, in downtown Buffalo. The Herd outhit their opponents 12-11, but failed to match Norfolk's big rallies early in the contest.
Norfolk put three crooked numbers on the scoreboard, all in the first five innings of the game. The Tides manufactured a two-out rally in the first thanks to a Chris Dickerson double and a walk by Pedro Alvarez. Jason Leblebijian then misplayed Robert Andino's grounder to keep the inning alive. Two pitchers later, Sisco cleared the bases with a double to the right-centerfield wall.
After the Bisons closed to within 3-2 thru three, Janish came through with the three-run blast into the screen in left field to widen the lead. The Tides then collected four straight hits off Bisons starter Jarrett Grube in the fifth to build an insurmountable 8-2 advantage.
The Herd had their chances early as well, but each rally ended a little earlier than the team needed them to. Mike Ohlman's RBI-double in the first inning cut Norfolk's lead to 3-1, but the Herd could do no further damage with runners on second and third and only one out.
Video: Mike Ohlman RBI Double
In the third inning, Jake Elmore gave Buffalo their second run with a bases-loaded walk, but Tides' reliever Scott McGough came on to get a 1-2-3 doubleplay off the bat of Luke Maile to end the threat. The Bisons then started the fourth inning with four straight hits. That rally, however, also ended abruptly when Christian Lopes was caught off second base on Gregorio Petit's sacrifice fly.
Promoted from New Hampshire earlier in the day, Bisons reliever Luis Santos was impressive in his Triple-A debut. The righty halted the Tides attack by giving the Herd three shutout innings of work. He struck out three and allowed just two hits.
Norfolk's Richard Rodriguez earned the win with three innings of relief on his own. The only run he allowed was an RBI-single from Dwight Smith Jr. in the sixth inning that gave Buffalo their fifth and final run.
Smith Jr. finished the game 4-4 with a pair of RBI and a walk. It's the Bisons first four-hit game of the season. He's now hitting .357 on the season.
BISONS NOTES: Luis Santos joined the Bisons on Wednesday because reliever Wil Browning was placed on the temporarily inactive list…Ian Parmley had his first three-hit game with the Bisons. He doubled and scored twice for the Herd.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.