Bats Win 7-3 over Bisons Behind Power of O'Grady
Louisville's Brian O'Grady took advantage of the heat wave at Sahlen Field on Sunday afternoon.
The first baseman and Philadelphia native scorched the Bison hurlers at the plate with three home runs in consecutive at-bats in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings for the Bats' 7-3 victory against the Bisons. Now at nine home runs and 21 RBI on the season, O'Grady's performance prevented the Bats from being swept in Buffalo for the first time since May of 2005.
Christian Colon and Aristides Aquino also sent pitches over the left field wall in the fifth and eighth innings, respectively - Aquino's coming just one pitch after O'Grady's third homer of the day as part of a four-hit performance.
Similar to recent outings, the Herd struck gold in the first inning as Socrates Brito worked an eight pitch at-bat in his Bison debut and blasted a RBI double off the wall against the Bats' Lucas Sims, allowing Teoscar Hernandez to score for a 1-0 lead after his lead-off single. Four pitches later, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. continued his hot start to the season - this time, a RBI single up the middle, allowing Brito to score from second base to extend Buffalo's lead to 2-0. The hit was Gurriel Jr.'s 26th RBI of the season and his 56th in his Bison career dating back to last season.
After O'Grady's first home run, this time off Bisons starter Andrew Sopko, cut the lead to 2-1, the Herd had what was their last scoring threat of the day after Cavan Biggio and Reese McGuire had singles before stranded on base. But after the quick six hits over the first four innings (Andrew Guillotte had a single in the second), the Bats retired 15 straight Bison batters until Biggio's double and a infield single for Burns in the ninth inning. Biggio still has the team-best with 41 hits, one of many offensive categories he leads so far. McGuire provided the final Bison run with a sacrifice fly to left field in the ninth.
Despite these small sparks, the Bisons were cooled off at the plate because of the combined Bats staff of Sims and the bullpen trio of Ian Krol, Jimmy Herget and Sal Romano. Sims, who recorded his third win of the season, threw six innings and gave up two runs on six hits along with 5 strikeouts on 93 pitches (60 strikes) and threw a 9-pitch inning in the sixth. Krol then came in and threw four strikeouts in 1.1 innings of action (including a 1-2-3 inning seventh on 14 pitches), teaming up with Herget in the eighth, who struck out his only two batters of the day. Romano finished the game in the ninth inning.
Scoring for the Bats Sunday also came from Nick Longhi on a single in the seventh inning but was thrown out by the leftfielder, Hernandez, as he tried to advance to second base with 2 outs. Former Bison Juan Graterol had a RBI single in the sixth inning as well.
In the loss, Sopko threw 88 pitches (56 strikes) over 5.1 innings, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits plus a walk and strikeout each. In relief, Tayler Saucedo had 1.2 innings of work, allowing one run on three hits. Conor Fisk and Justin Shafer made appearances as well.
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