In a game where the starting pitchers combined to allow just three hits through the first four innings, it was Gwinnett that broke the game wide open with five home runs -two coming from centerfielder Rafael Ortega- in a 6-2 victory over the Bisons, Wednesday night at Sahlen Field in downtown Buffalo.
Along with Ortega's two homers, Luis Marte, Ryan LaMarre and Adam Duvall all went deep for the Stripers in their fifth consecutive win.
Ortega's first home run, his eight of the year, opened the scoring in the third inning. Then after the Bisons took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning, the Stripers went ahead in the fifth inning when Marté connected on an 0-1 pitch from the arm of Bisons starter, Jacob Waguespack, for a two-run home shot. This was Marté's second homer of the season, giving him 10 RBI on the year.
LaMarre added in surance in the seventh while Duvall's blast in the eighth was his 12th of the season. Ortega completed his multi-homer, three-hit night with another blast to the right field Bully Hill Party Deck in the ninth.
The Bisons got their two runs off former teammate and Stripers starting pitcher Ben Rowen in the bottom of the fourth inning. Trailing 1-0 after Ortega's solo home run, the Bisons responded as Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s 10th double of the season (also 24th RBI) to left field allowed Anthony Alford to score. Then, in the next at-bat, Cavan Biggio sent a 3-1 pitch to the left field wall for a double, allowing Gurriel Jr. to score for a 2-1 Buffalo lead. The hit earned Biggio his 24th RBI of the season.
Rowen was member of the Bisons during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Waguespack finished the night allowing three earned runs (four total) on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts on 103 pitches (67 strikes). With the loss, Waguespack continues his search for his first win since April 16 against Pawtucket.
The teams complete the three-game set tomorrow at Sahlen Field at 6:05 PM as part of a Tops Dog Day at the Park. Shane Morimando will take the mound for the Herd, facing off against the Stripers' Bryse Wilson.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.