By MICHAEL MROZIAK firstname.lastname@example.org
Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — Brad Glenn hit two home runs, both over the center field wall, to cap off a 6-2 win by the Buffalo Bisons over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Friday night at Coca Cola Field in downtown Buffalo.
Like the night before, the Bisons fell behind early. Lehigh Valley rocked starting Bisons pitcher Thad Weber for four hits in the first inning alone, scoring two runs. The Bisons were able to stop the early bleeding, though, with a successful double play.
Buffalo manager Marty Brown suggested Weber simply needed to get back into a routine after returning from a nearly two-week stint with the Toronto Blue Jays, during which he saw very little action.
“He’s been off 12 days and he throws an inning and two thirds, then comes down with two days off and starts. We’ll give him one inning as a mulligan,” said Brown.
Weber settled down after a shaky first inning, pitching a total five innings during which he struck out eight batters and allowed no more runs or hits.
More importantly for Buffalo, the Bisons had a response to the IronPigs with their own early offense. In the bottom of the opening inning, the Herd also hit four times and scored three runs, two of them coming off a double by Ricardo Nanita.
They added two more runs in the third inning. After Andy LaRoche led off with a walk and Nanita flew out to left field, Glenn hit a two-run shot over the centerfield fence, his second homer in the International League this season.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked of him,” said Brown of Glenn. “One of those things in spring training, you looked at him and thought ‘big strong guy, has got some power’ and unfortunately with the numbers we had he started out in AA (New Hampshire).”
Glenn got his second homer of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, hitting a long drive that cleared the fence at the outermost part of the wall, 404 feet from home.
He’s made the most of his eight games with the Bisons, joining the team after several other regular players were called up to the Blue Jays in recent days.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to (Bisons hitting coach) John Nunnally,” Glenn said. “We got in the cage early, saw a few things with my timing, just a little rhythm thing and we ironed it out in the cage, and it helped me out in the game.”
Mauro Gomez also had an RBI, scoring Mike McCoy with his single to give Buffalo its first run of the game in the first inning.
After Weber left the game at the end of the fifth inning, Scott Gracey, Tommy Hottovy, John Stilson and Jeremy Jeffress combined to hold the IronPigs to just one more hit and preserve a win that snapped a four-game losing streak.
Buffalo improved its record to 68-65, matching that of Lehigh Valley and tying the teams for third place in the International League North. Both teams remained four games out of the IL’s wild card playoff spot. The momentary wild card holder was Rochester, which squandered a 6-2 lead in the top of the ninth and was tied at 6-6 at press time. The Red Wings and second place Pawtucket were separated in the IL North standings by just a half game, with the Red Sox losing 4-1 Friday night to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Bisons and IronPigs meet again at Coca Cola Field this evening beginning at 7:05 p.m. Sean Nolin (0-1) is scheduled to start for Buffalo while Adam Morgan (2-5) is expected to take the mound for Lehigh Valley.