The Buffalo Bisons returned home Friday night for their first home game of the 2008 season. On the radar, it looked like they were going to run smack dab into some wet weather. And while the rains came before and during the Home Opener, they couldn't damper the mood of 11,283 fans excited for the return of baseball.
However, the rains also couldn't cool the red-hot bats of the Toledo Mud Hens.
Toledo leads the International League in hitting and home runs and put on an impressive power display in a 4-1 victory over the Bisons on Friday. The Hens hit three home runs, including a blast from Bisons-nemesis Mike Hessman, to spoil the Herd's 2008 Opener.
Toledo entered the game with 12 longballs in just seven games, five more than any other team in the league. Matt Joyce got unlucky number 13 with his solo shot in the top of the second inning. Hessman led off the fourth with his solo homer that hit in the protective netting in deep left-center. Jeff Larrish launched a third solo home run in the sixth, his league-leading fifth of the season.
Toledo thought they had another homerun back in the fourth inning when Brent Clevlen lined one to deep left. Umpires ruled the ball a home run, but reversed the call to an RBI-double after discussion. Video replay confirmed that the ball hit the top of the wall before bouncing back into play.
All three homeruns came off Jeremy Sowers, who fell to 0-2 on the year. The southpaw allowed four earned over six innings of work.
The Bisons scored first in the game when Ben Francisco singled, stole second and scored on an error. Buffalo's offense fell quiet after that as they were held hitless after the second inning.
BISONS NOTES:Reid Santos pitched three scoreless innings for Buffalo. He struck out six...Buffalo was outhit 10-2 in the game...The Bisons are now 14-7 in home openers at Dunn Tire Park.