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Bisons Blast Red Wings, 20-3, to Move One Step Away from Division Title

September 15, 2021 - Triple-A East League (AAA East) - Buffalo Bisons News Release

With the 2021 season nearing a close, the Bisons still had time to post their most dominate performance of the year.

Nearing their first division title since 2005, the Herd took an emphatic step towards a Northeast Division championship with a 20-3 thumping of the Rochester Red Wings on Wednesday night from Frontier Field. The Herd pounded out 23 hits, include five from Kevin Smith and a grand slam from Cavan Biggio, to collect their 14th win in their last 16 contests.

The win gives the Bisons a 70-43 record on the season with four games left. At 65-47, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, who were suspended in Lehigh Valley on Wednesday, can only tie the Herd's current win total, giving Buffalo a magic number of just one for the outright Northeast Division title.

The Bisons attack on Wednesday was relentless as they scored in seven of the nine innings, including a sixth-run fourth inning that surely put the game away. Otto Lopez matched a Bisons modern era record with five runs scored, while Biggio drove in five and scored four times himself.

Smith led the Herd in the hit column, going 5-7 with four runs scored and two RBI. He got the party started four batters into the contest with when doubled over the head of Rochester right fielder Daniel Palka to plate Lopez for the first time.

Then Gregory Polanco took over with a two-run double in the first and then a two-run home run in the third. His second homer in as many days and fourth in his short time with the Bisons, Polanco's shot to right center gave Buffalo 5-2 lead in the fourth.

Polanco, however, had to leave the game during the Bisons rally in the fourth when he collided with Mike Ford when the Red Wings first baseman had to cross over the bag to nab an errant through. Polanco appeared to have some sort of hand injury after the collision and could not remain in the game.

Polanco's exit was the only downside to an amazing night. In that six-run fourth inning, the first seven Bisons batters reached base, including an RBI double from Lopez and an RBI single from Biggio. Richard Urena was hit with the bases loaded and Logan Warmoth drew a walk that forced in the Herd's 10th run of the night.

Juan Graterol had an RBI single in the sixth inning and Smith and Warmoth had RBI-knocks in the seventh.

Then with the game out of reach, Biggio blasted his second Bisons home run of the year in the eighth inning. Graterol led off the frame with another single and Forrest Wall and Lopez drew walks. Then, on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Biggio turned on an offering from reliever Nick Wells and blasted the ball out of Frontier Field.

The beneficiary of all that offense was veteran righty, Casey Lawrence. Lawrence worked the first five innings and struck out six to improve to 6-2 with the Bisons. Tayler Saucedo returned to the Bisons and was one of four Herd relievers that each worked an inning of shutout baseball.

Quick turnaround for the Bisons, who will face the Red Wings again on Thursday afternoon with a 1:05 p.m. first pitch from Frontier Field.

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