For most of 2009, the Bisons struggled to get the big blast when they needed it. This season, they have the bats in their lineup that can change the game at any one moment.
Mike Hessman and Chris Carter hit mammoth home runs and provided all the offense needed in Buffalo's 2-1, 11-inning victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday afternoon from PNC Field. Buffalo has now won two of the first three games in their series against the Yankees with all three games decided by one run.
Carter's blast was the game-winner. The former Boston Red Sox farmhand wasted little time in the 11th inning, driving the first pitch he saw from reliever Jonathon Albaladejo to deep right field. Carter led Pawtucket last season with 16 homers and 61RBI.
The game went into extra-innings because each team scored a run against the opposing bullpen. Mike Hessman hit his first home run in a Bisons uniform in the eighth inning to put the first dent in the scoreboard. The minor leagues active leader in home runs hit #312 on a 1-2 pitch off Mark Melancon.
The Yankees stayed alive with a two-out rally in the bottom of the ninth inning off Bisons' closer Elmer Dessens. After Jesus Montero just missed a home run because of a leaping grab by Jason Pridie and Eduardo Nunez doubled off the top of the wall in right, Colin Curtis beat out an infield single to tie the game at one.
The Bisons rally made a winner of Dessens (1-0). After taking the loss in the first game of the season, southpaw Mike O'Connor retired the Yankees 1-2-3 in the 11th inning for the save.
Pat Misch started the game for Buffalo and tossed six shutout innings in a no-decision. Manny Acosta made his Bisons debut and kept Scranton/Wilkes-Barre off the scoreboard in the seventh and eighth inning. BISONS NOTES:An early sign of Ken Oberkfell's late-inning strategy in 2010, Jesus Feliciano entered the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning for the second straight game...Feliciano stole a base, making Buffalo 3-3 in steals on the season...The Bisons are over the .500 mark for the first time since they were 2-1 three games into the 2008 season.-the herd-
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.