Buffalo showed a lot of patience and flashed a little dominance in the ninth inning of a 4-3 victory over the Norfolk Tides, Friday night from Harbor Park.
Deadlocked at three, the Herd pushed across the go-ahead run with a single and two walks in the top-half of the ninth. Bisons' closer Edward Mujica then slammed the door shut by picking up the save with just five pitches.
Buffalo had already drawn six free passes earlier in the game, but after Ben Francisco singled to lead off the night, Jordan Brown and Ryan Mulhern followed with back-to-back walks to load the bases. Tides' reliever Bob McCrory was able to strikeout the next batter, Andy Gonzalez, but Brad Snyder followed with a line-drive sacrifice fly to score Francisco for the winning run.
It was the second time Snyder had given Buffalo the lead on Friday. The centerfielder had two hits on the night, including an RBI-double that put the Bisons ahead 3-2 in the fifth inning.
Norfolk worked Herd starter Sean Smith for a 2-0 lead before Brown cut the advantage in half with an RBI-single in the third inning. In the fifth, Gonzalez knotted the score with his first Bisons hit before scoring on Snyder's double to give Buffalo the 3-2 edge.
Mujica made the final Bisons' lead stand up with a dominating performance in the ninth. He needed just five strikes to set the Tides down 1-2-3 and give Buffalo their second win of the season.
Southpaw Rich Rundles (1-0) earned the win with two shutout innings of work. Smith threw 70 pitches in getting in and out of trouble for the first three innings. Scott Elarton also pitched three innings and surrendered a run in the sixth inning that tied the score at three.