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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Durham Bulls double Bisons, 6-3

All WNY News     Saturday, April 29, 2017    

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For the first time this season, an opponent has gotten the better of the Bisons in a series.

Durham clinched a victory in the three-game series with the Herd at Durham Bulls Athletic Park thanks to a 6-3 victory over Buffalo on Saturday night. The Bisons have now lost three straight games for the first time this season, falling to 13-8.

Buffalo was playing catch-up for most of the night and had their chances late to overcome a 4-2 deficit after six innings of play. The Herd loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh but could not score. They also got the first three men on base in the eighth, yet could only push one runner to the plate.

The Bulls, meanwhile, went 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base, but still found enough offense for the win. Buffalo's defense hurt them in the third as two fielding errors and a wild pitch from starter Brett Oberholtzer helped the Bulls build a 2-1 lead. After Buffalo tied the game on Alex Monsalve's RBI-hit in the fourth, Patrick Leonard singled home a pair of runs to give Durham the 4-2 edge after five innings of play.

The Bisons then started the seventh with back-to-back singles from Jake Elmore and Shane Opitz. Alex Monsalve followed with a walk after an eight-pitch battle to load the bases. Durham turned to their third of six pitchers on the night, Adam Kolarek, who proceeded to strike out Roemon Fields and Darrell Ceciliani on full-count pitches. Christian Lopes, who opened the scoring with an RBI-single in the third, grounded out to end the inning.

Now down 5-2, the Herd threatened again in the eighth. Dwight Smith Jr. was hit with a pitch and Jason Leblebijian walked to open the frame. Rowdy Tellez doubled in a run and set Buffalo up with the game-tying runs in scoring position with nobody out. But another pitching change bailed out the Bulls as Jeff Ames came on to fan Elmore and Opitz before pinch hitter Mike Ohlman grounded out.

Oberholtzer (0-1) suffered his first defeat of the season, allowing four runs (two earned) in five innings of work.

The Bisons close out their roadtrip on Sunday night with a 5:05 p.m. first pitch from Durham. Buffalo returns home on Tuesday for a six-game homestand against the Red Wings and Iron Pigs.

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