It was still daylight when the second game of the 2011 Minor League season ended, but Nationals prospect Seth Bynum ensured there were plenty of visible fireworks, homering on Opening Day for the third consecutive season.
The first game broadcast on the new MiLB.TV -- which will broadcast tilts featuring every Triple-A team this season -- aired in HD quality and was a slugfest between the International League's Buffalo Bisons and Syracuse Chiefs on Thursday.
Bynum knocked in five runs as his Chiefs topped the Bisons, 8-5, and in addition to collecting a round-tripper for the third straight year on Opening Day, he's knocked in at least one run in each of his season openers since 2008.
After Jeff Frazier tallied Syracuse's first hit of the season with a one-out single in the fourth and Jesus Flores followed with a base hit up the middle, Bynum hammered Dillon Gee's 1-2 pitch over the left-field wall. His three-run longball put the Chiefs up, 4-0.
He ripped a double up the left-field line to plate two more runs one inning later.
In 2009, Bynum belted a game-tying homer for Double-A Harrisburg in the ninth inning, and the Senators won in the 10th, 6-5. Last April 8, he slugged a two-run homer in the second inning of Syracuse's 8-7, season-starting victory over Lehigh Valley.
Washington pitching prospect Cole Kimball struck out a batter and threw 1 1/3, no-hit, no-walk frames. Chris Marrero was hitless but did score and knock in a run.
Mets prospect Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered and scored twice in his first Triple-A Opening Day, and Fernando Martinez was 4-for-5 with a double and a run scored.
Buffalo's Gee allowed seven runs -- five earned -- over 4 2/3 innings despite having held the Chiefs hitless his first time through the lineup.