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Bullpen, homers lift Herd to 6-0 win


The Bisons got back to their winning ways Thursday night as four Herd relivers combined on a six-hit, 6-0 shutout win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Park. Michael De La Cruz and Rowdy Tellez hit three-run home runs in consecutive innings to provide the offense as the Herd began the final month of the season with a victory.
One of Buffalo's strengths all season long, the bullpen stepped up once again when scheduled starter Nick Kingman was a late scratch. Taylor Saucedo took the ball on a 90-minute notice and worked the first three innings, striking out three and allowing just a pair of singles.
Matt Dermody took over from there, retiring eight of the next nine batters with just one ball -Logan Morrison's two-out single in the fourth inning- leaving the infield. The southpaw struck out the final two batters he faced and earned his first victory with the Herd since June 2, 2017 after missing most of this season and last because of injury.
Promoted from Double-A New Hampshire earlier in the day, 25-year old Jackson McLelland worked 2.1 shutout innings in his Triple-A debut. The righty did allow four singles, but the Bisons fielders assisted in holding the IronPigs off the scoreboard.
McLelland allowed two-out singles to Ali Castillo and Andrew Romine in the sixth but right fielder Jordan Patterson threw out Castillo trying to go first-to-third on the second hit. Then, the IronPigs hit into an ultra rare 7-6 doubleplay at FIRST base in the seventh. Jose Pirela forgot how many outs there were on Rob Brantly's fly out to left and ran all the way to third base. After Socrates Brito made the catch in left, he tossed the ball to shortstop Richard Urena. Instead of throwing on to first base to double up Pirela, Urena just continued to casually jog to the Bisons dugout (on the first base side), stepping on the bag on the way by.
Bryan Baker retired the IronPigs in the ninth to close out the Herd's shutout victory.
The Bisons go all the offense they would need with three-run home runs in consecutive innings. Michael De La Cruz crushed a slider from Dan Staily out to right field for his third homer of the season. Then after Jonathan Davis and Urena singled in the top of the fifth, Rowdy Tellezlaunched a second three-run blast to straight away center for the 6-0 lead.
For Tellez, the home run was his sixth in only 17 games with the Herd this season.
The win allowed the Bisons to gain ground in the IL North division as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost to Rochester, 5-3. Buffalo is now five games back of the RailRiders in front of a three-game weekend series against Syracuse at Sahlen Field.

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