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Bisons roll into All-Star Break with 10-5 win


The way the Buffalo Bisons have played over the last month, it's a shame the team has reached the All-Star Break and won't take the field for another four days. It does, however, set the stage for an awesome stretch run for the red-hot Herd.
The Bisons closed out the first half of their 2019 season with a 10-5 victory over the Syracuse Mets on Sunday afternoon from NBT Bank Stadium. In the club's third consecutive win, Buffalo followed the same recipe that has turned their season around made them a contender in the International League this year: a relentless offensive attack and a dominating bullpen.
The Bisons had 17 hits in the win while their pitchers matched a modern-era team record with 18 strikeouts, 12 coming from a quartet of relievers. The win improves them to 46-42 on the year, 5.5 games behind Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the IL North division and 4.5 games behind the Wild-Card leading Gwinnett Stripers. Buffalo is 22-9 in their last 33 games.
Six different Bisons batters had multi-hit performances, including a four-hit game from Billy McKinney. The outfielder homered in second inning to give Buffalo an early 2-1 edge and capped a four-run sixth inning that snapped a 4-4 tie with his RBI infield single.
One of the Bisons first-half MVPs, Socrates Brito also had a big day at the plate with three hits of his own. He launched his ninth home run of the season in the third inning as Buffalo scored a solo run in each of the first four frames. 
And of course, one of the biggest stories in Minor League Baseball has been the Blue Jays top prospect, Bo Bichette, who had his third consecutive multi-hit performance (2-for6) and sixth in his last eight games. His RBI-double in the sixth snapped the 4-4 tie and got the Herd rolling. He would later score on Jordan Patteron's double as the Bisons sent 10 men to the plate to bust the game wide open.
Since returning from the broken hand that cost him nearly two months of the season, Bichette has averaged .361 with 11 doubles, five home runs and 24 RBI in just 30 games. 
On the mound, the Bisons got 27 outs with two-third of them coming via the strikeout. Sean Reid-Foley started for the Bisons and struck out six, but also walked four meaning his day had to be cut short after just three innings.
That's when the bullpen took over, posting 12 strikeouts to only three hits allowed over the final six innings. Taylor Saucedo got the win to improve to 5-0 on the season with six punchouts over three frames. Newly named All-Star Kirby SneadBuddy Boshers and Ty Tice all fanned two in an inning of relief without allowing a hit.
The 18 strikeouts for th Herd has only been accomplished one other time in the team's modern era, in an 11-10 over the Syracuse SkyChiefs on August 24, 2005... That game went 11 innings. 
The Bisons will now rest for three days before the second half of the season restarts in Pawtucket on Thursday night with a five-game in four-day series with the PawSox. The Bisons next play at home on Monday, July 15 when they open a seven-game homestand against Charlotte and Columbus. 

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