DURHAM, N.C. — Buffalo Bisons left fielder Fred Lewis doubled his home-run total Sunday night with blasts in the fourth and eighth innings, but Buffalo left the tying run on second in the eighth and went down in order in the ninth to fall, 4-3, to the Durham Bulls.
The loss was the Bisons' fifth straight and 10th in their last 11 games, causing the Herd (38-39) to fall below .500 for the first time since April. The Herd close the series with Durham today with a 12:05 p.m. game (Radio 1520 AM) before coming home for an eight-game homestand Tuesday.
Matt Harvey started for the Bisons and struck out six over five innings before leaving the game behind, 2-1. Josh Rodriguez led off the sixth with a home run to take the decision off Harvey. The Bisons threatened for more as Valentino Pascucci, Josh Satin and Raul Reyes reached to load the bases with one out. But Bulls' reliever Frank De Los Santos got Brad Emaus swinging and induced a pop up from Matt Tuiasosopo.
De Los Santos (1-0) earned the win while Bryan Augenstein overcame a shaky eighth inning to pick up his second save.
Justin Hampson came on in the bottom of the sixth for Buffalo but had his second pitch deposited over the right field wall by Matt Mangini to put Durham up 3-2. With two outs and a runner on third, Hampson's wild pitch allowed Jeff Salazar to score.
Lewis finished 3 for 3, while Satin was 2 for 3 with a walk before being pulled for a pinch runner in the eighth.
Earlier in the day, the New York Mets optioned infielder Jordany Valdespin to Buffalo. Valdespin hit .279 with an OPS of .722 in 27 games for Buffalo before being called up at the end of May. He hit .222 in 63 at-bats in the majors.