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Leblebijian, Sweeney power Bisons to 9-4 win over IronPigs

STAFF REPORTS

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Coming into Monday, the second-place Bisons had a great opportunity to gain ground in the standings against the division-leading IronPigs. 

The Herd did just that as home runs from Jason Leblebijian and Darnell Sweeney helped power Buffalo to a 9-4 win over Lehigh Valley from Coca-Cola Park.

After the IronPigs tied the game in the second, the Herd solidified its own lead with a five-run third inning thanks to a pair of home runs. Roemon Fields and Alford both reached base to begin the frame and advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch.

Rowdy Tellez was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Leblebijian didn't disappoint with the quality chance to break the tie. He turned on an elevated fastball from IronPigs' starter Drew Anderson and smashed a grand slam to give the Bisons a four-run lead.

The Bisons' power surge didn't stop there. With two outs in the inning, Sweeney swatted an opposite-field solo shot to pad the lead to 6-1. Sweeney struck again in the fifth with a two-RBI single, extending the Buffalo advantage to seven runs. He later scored for the third run of the inning.

Sweeney and Leblebijian paced the Herd offense. Along with a home run apiece, each had a three-hit game. Additionally, the two accounted for a combined seven RBI.

For the second straight day, the Bisons registered nine runs and double-digit hits. In the Game one win of the doubleheader Sunday, the Herd collected 15 hits in a 9-1 win. Against the IronPigs Monday night, Buffalo had 16 hits in a winning effort.

Righty Chris Rowley was excellent on the hill for the Herd. He worked seven strong innings, allowing just two runs on three hits. He held the IronPigs hitless between the third and sixth innings and also struck out seven batters.

Rowley's only mistake came in the second when he gave up a solo home run to Trevor Plouffe which tied the game at one. However, the Bisons manufactured plenty of runs to back up Rowley's winning decision. With the victory, he improved to 4-3 on the season.