By Mike Harrington
ROCHESTER -- Catcher Josh Thole went 4 for 4 and Dave Bush tossed six more strong innings as the Bisons completed a scintillating April with a 5-2 win over the Rochester Red Wings in a nationally televised game today before 3,755 in Frontier Field.
Thole slapped a wind-blown, two-run homer the opposite way to left to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead in the fourth and the Herd never looked back. The Bisons scored three runs in the ninth, one on a slap single by Ryan Goins and another on Anthony Gose's queeze bunt. Buffalo ended April 17-7, the most wins in a month in its modern era.
Thole's four-hit day was his second of the season and sixth for the Bisons this month. Behind the plate, he caught six strong innings from Bush -- who is 3-1 with a 1.61 ERA thus far. Veteran Ramon Ortiz tossed 2 2/3 innings and came within one out of his first professional save since 1996. Neil Wagner got the final out with the bases loaded for his seventh save.
The Bisons are off Wednesday and open an eight-game homestand Thursday night at 7 against the Louisville Bats. Cincinnati's Triple-A affiliate features outfielder Billy Hamilton, who set a minor-league record last season with 155 stolen bases at two levels. Thursday's starter for the Bats will be Armando Galarraga, the former Detroit pitcher who lost a perfect game against Cleveland in 2010 due to botched call at first base by umpire Jim Joyce.