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Bisons beat Syracuse for third straight win, 7-6

STAFF REPORTS

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Funny how it works… The sun has started to come out at the ballpark and low and behold, the Bisons are heating up. 
On a sun-splashed Saturday afternoon at Coca-Cola Field, the Herd held on for its third straight win with a 7-6 victory over the Syracuse Chiefs. Chris Rowley allowed just an unearned run over seven innings and every Buffalo batter had a hit by the end of the fourth inning.
Dwight Smith Jr. went 3-5 in the contest and finished a home run away from the cycle. He was one of six Herd batters with multi-hit performances.
Rowley set the tone early with some great work on the mound prior to the Chiefs scoring five runs in the ninth to make the game interesting. While the righty yielded seven hits, he allowed the Chiefs to get the leadoff batter on base just once in his seven frames. He struck out four and didn't issue a walk until his final inning of work. The lone blemish on his line was an unearned run in the fourth inning when Jacob Wilson reached on an error in front of Irving Falu's double.
That double was also the only extra-base hit allowed by Rowley.
Before it got close late, the Bisons rolled to an early six-run lead. Tim Lopes singled home Dwight Smith Jr. in the first and the Smith Jr. drove in Devon Travis with a triple in the third. Buffalo then sent nine men to the plate in a four-run fourth. That frame included five consecutive hits, highlighted by a two-run double into the left field corner by Roemon Fields.
Jason Leblebijian added the all-important seventh run in the fifth with his second RBI-single of the game. That proved large as the Chiefs rallied for five runs in the ninth inning. With two man on and two out, Murphy Smith jammed Tuffy Gosewisch with an inside fastball, forcing the Chiefs catcher to just nub a grounder to third. Leblebijian threw on to first to finish the ballgame.
Now back at the .500-mark at 10-10, the Herd will look for the series sweep Sunday with a 1:05 p.m. first pitch.