Catcher Reece McGuire said it wasn’t the prettiest slide he ever did, but it got the job done.
McGuire scored once and drove home the game-winner as Buffalo beat Rochester, 3-2, in front of 11,358 fans on Father’s Day.
Anthony Alford’s first home run of the year tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second.
McGuire, who drew a walk, took off when Jason Leblebijian made contact.
“With two outs we’re just being aggressive,” McGuire said. “At first it looks like a routine play to (Featherston). Things happen. The ball gets thrown into right field. The right fielder was actually backing (the play) but the throw took it down into the corner, so I definitely knew headed into third there was a chance I was going to be waved around. Especially with two outs.”
Starter Taylor Guerrieri gave up one earned run in his five innings of work, followed by relievers Rhiner Cruz, Jake Petricka and Justin Shafer who combined for four scoreless innings.
“That’s a good team that we’re going against. Guys can swing it in that line-up, ” McGuire said. “Guerrieri did a great job setting the tone early, using all his pitches from inning number one then the bullpen came in. Rhiner was right there throwing heat, that’s what he does. (Petricka) coming in and just sinkin’ the ball. At the end it’s Shafer finishing it off. So unbelievable job by the whole squad today.”
Cruz earned his first win while Shafer collected his fifth save. Zack Granite scored in the top do the fifth to tie the game at 2-2. Granite collected his 34th hit of the season though, oddly enough, he has yet to drive in a single run.
Rowdy Tellez led off the Bisons’ half of the sixth with a double. A 4-3 groundout by Alford pushed Tellez to third base. McGuire’s sac fly to left field plated Tellez with the winning run.
Tellez, who was pulled from Thursday’s game for not running out a pop fly, has responded with three strong games.
“That’s maturity,” Bison manager Bobby Meacham said. “That’s how you mature. That’s how you get better. He’s trying to be open-minded a lot this year. We talked about it. He’s trying to take that criticism from us constructively and use it for his advantage and in the end be a better ball player.”
When asked how that is easier said than done Meacham continued by saying how his own experiences in the game have taught him the value of humility as a way of improving and growing. A trait he feels his young players are learning.
“It’s who. It’s pride,” Meacham said. “We talk about it a lot. I’ve learned a lot over the years of being prideful and how that doesn’t help. Being humbled kinda helps you look at yourself in the mirror and make progress to who you want to be and what you want to do. So that’s what they’re learning right now. Swallow their pride a little bit. Being humbled is good. It’s a good thing if they learn from it and that’s what we’re seeing with these guys.”
Steve Pearce (oblique) played in his second rehab game with the Herd. He reached base all four times with a pair of singles, hit by pitch and a walk. Both singles were hit hard. Especially the first one which scorched up the middle.
This was Pearce’s second game at DH. After Monday’s day off he is expected to play the outfield Tuesday and Wednesday when the Herd is in Pawtucket.
This was the third largest crowd of the season. Postgame included a catch with dad on the field.