And they just keep rolling along.
Rowdy Tellez and Jason Leblebijian hit solo homeruns as the Buffalo Bisons topped Syracuse, 8-5, Monday night for a season-high five game winning streak.
The Chief jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Herd answered right back with two runs of their own in the bottom frame.
The first was a sign of things to come as the teams would switch leads back and forth over the first six innings.
A solo homerun by Jason Martinson put the Chiefs up, 3-2, in the third, but Tim Lopes (2-for-4, 2R) two-run triple would put the Bisons up 4-3.
“I thought they woke us up a little bit. I think we were sleepwalking for a while,” Bison manager Bobby Meacham said. “I thought they helped us out at the end there and got us going.”
The Bison defense was definitely sleepwalking in the sixth and it proved costly. Leadoff batter Tuffy Gosewisch hit what appeared to be a harmless fly ball to left/center. But Bison center fielder Roemon Fields and left fielder Darnell Sweeney both converged on the ball-which resulted in Sweeney knocking the ball out of Fields glove. Gosewisch would eventually score-tying the game at 5-5.
Rowdy Tellez would put the Herd up for good in the seventh inning with his second homerun of the season that put his team up, 6-5.
“We’ve faced him a couple times before. He throws a hard slider a good fastball,” Tellez said. “I’m just looking for something over the plate. Got two strikes. I just went into protect mode and tried to find a pitch I could handle and did some damage with it.”
Tellez has been a central figure in the Bisons winning streak as the 6-foot-4 first baseman has hit safely in all five games. Compiling.444 average along the way.
“I’ve seen a lot of good things all year from him, to be honest with you. He just keeps getting better,” Meacham said. “He keeps working on things to get better.”
Meacham continued by saying that he has seen an overall improvement in Tellez game because Rowdy has been focusing on getting better, and not worrying about his numbers.
“I think the key is if we have a lot of guys out there trying to get better instead of just trying to get to the big leagues,” Meacham said. “It’s hard to see it (big leagues) right there and not want to get there. But it’s hard to stay there if you don’t get better. So that’s what we’ve been beating into him and trying to get him to learn and man he’s really learning it. I love to see the results.”
Tellez opened last season in a big way as he hit two home runs on Opening Day. But the rest of the season proved to be far more challenging for the affable Tellez, who struggled to find consistent results. Batting .222 with six home runs.
Tellez said regardless of the results his focus is to go out and play hard each and every day because he owes it to his teammates to give them his best.
Comparing this season to last Tellez, who is ranked by MILB.com as the Blue Jays No.15 prospect, says he isn’t doing anything drastically different.
“I don’t think anything has really changed,” Tellez said. “The ball is falling. That’s probably the only difference. I’m a little more solidified in my approach in the box. Again, we have a good team. They’re getting on base and I’m trying to do my job.”
Dusty Isaacs came on in relief of starter Chris Rowley to pick up his first Triple-A win.
Isaacs, who was just called up from Double-A New Hampshire where he was 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in 12 games, worked two spotless innings. He struck out two, issued no walks and gave up just one hit. Most importantly, he shutdown the Chiefs long enough to give the Bison offense that window of opportunity to take the lead.
“I’m sure the adrenaline was going so it was good to see him kind of corral that…Believe in himself and do the same thing that he’s been doing,” Meacham said.
“And get good results.”
Al Alburquerque earned his third save.
The series continues Tuesday at 6:05pm.
Update: two of the games in the Bisons three game series against Louisville that was originally slated for April 16-18 will not be made up. The entire series was wiped out due to ice/snow that hit WNY. The first game will be made up as part of a double header in Louisville on July 24. The other two ,however, will not be made up.
Feature Photo Courtesy of the Buffalo Bisons