Tonawanda News — BUFFALO — Dropping a double header and losing their hold on first place in the International League’s North Division was probably not the way the Buffalo Bisons planned on wrapping up their seven-game homestand.
That’s exactly what happened Thursday when Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, took a twin spin from the Herd in front of 5,463 fans at Coca-Cola Field.
Railriders starter Brian Gordon flirted with a no-hitter in the opener that saw Scranton score a 2-1 win in nine innings, two more than the scheduled seven.
Game Two saw the Railriders get to Kyle Drabek early as they tagged the Bisons starter for five runs on 10 hits — including three home runs — in four innings en route to a 7-2 win.
Zolio Almonte (2 for 4, two runs, two RBIs) had two of the Railriders four home runs in game two, going deep in the third and seventh innings.
Railriders manager Dave Miley said the key to Almonte’s good day, and improved results as of late, was the basics of a better, more-disciplined approach at the plate.
“That’s probably the key. His approach,” Miley said. “He started out a little bit slow, but he’s getting good at-bats from both sides. That’s a plus for him and us.”
Almonte raised his batting average to .267 after the double header and now has six RBIs on the season.
The Bisons used timely hitting in Wednesday’s 8-2 win over Scranton, when they were 6 for 15 with runners in scoring position. They didn’t have that kind of consistency Thursday, as the Herd went just 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position in the opening game and 1 for 5 in the nightcap.
“Three runs in two games, that’s not going to win you too many ball games unless you get some really good pitching,” said Bisons manager Gary Allenson, who saw his team fall to 7-5 and drop to second place in the International League North Division, one game behind Pawtucket (9-5).