BUFFALO, N.Y. (Bisons.com) - Moments after the first pitch on what was supposed to be a chilly Home Opener, the sun peaked through the clouds over downtown Buffalo. The Bisons batters spent the rest of the game trying to hit it with the baseball...and they came pretty close.
Buffalo blasted four long home runs -three coming in a seven-run fourth inning- in a 12-3 victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in the 25th Opening Day at Coca-Cola Field. The run total set a new modern era record for the team's first home game of a season.
All four Bisons homers would've been out of any park with fences. Zach Lutz hit two of the home runs himself, with both clearing the 40-foot netting in left field. His first -and first of the season- led off a two-run second inning that gave Buffalo the early lead.
Lutz homered again in the fourth inning as the Bisons made quick work of a 3-2 deficit. Jordany Valdespin got the Bisons rolling with a two-run homer off Yankees starter Dellin Betances that cleared the Bully Hill Party Deck in right field. After a Josh Satin RBI-single, Valentino Pascucci hit a laser into the netting in left field for a 7-3 Bisons lead.
Betances' day was done after he walked the next batter, Vinny Rottino. Lutz then greeted Scranton/Wilkes-Barre reliever Jason Bulger with his second home run onto Oak St.
Lutz finished the game 2-5 with three RBI. He also reached on an error and scored in the sixth inning.
The Bisons also scored in the fifth inning as Valdespin scored from second base on a sacrifice fly from Josh Satin. The previous record for runs scored in a home opener was 10 in a 10-3 win over Pawtucket on April 3, 2003.
Not to be outdone, Bisons starter Jeurys Familia (1-0) earned the win with some overpowering stuff of his own. He struck out eight batters and allowed just three runs on four hits in the fifth inning. After he allowed a three-run home run to Dewayne Wise in the third inning, Familia retired seven of the final eight batters he faced.
The trio of Justin Hampson, Chuck James and Fernando Cabrera closed out the win with four combined innings of shutout relief.
BISONS NOTES:Valentino Pascucci home run was his 42nd homer in his Bisons career. He moves into a tie with Tom Prince and Russ Morman for the 9th most in the team's modern era...Wednesday's game was the Bisons first contest of 2012 that was decided by more than two runs...Jeurys Familia struck out two batters in each inning from the second to the fifth.