After struggling to figure out Syracuse (30-25) starter Taylor Jordan (0-2) for much of Saturday afternoon, the Bisons (27-25) exploded for four runs in the eighth to snap a four-game losing streak and earn a 5-2 victory over the Chiefs.
Ryan Tepera (2-1) got his second win of the season in relief. Starter Deck McGuire went seven innings, allowed two runs and struck out four but earned a no-decision.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak and saw an offense that has struggled mightily for the past week come alive.
Jordan had little trouble disposing of Buffalo hitters for most of the game. After allowing two hits – including a Darin Mastroianni double – to the first two batters, Jordan allowed just one more hit until the eighth inning.
In that frame, the Bisons scored four runs, two of which were charged to Jordan. However, Jordan left the game with two outs and with none of those runs having crossed home plate yet.
Jared Goedert and Dan Johnson then hit back-to-back RBI singles off reliever Xavier Cedeno to take the lead for good.
“Goedert had been struggling the past four or five days,” Bisons manager Gary Allenson said. “To see him battle (Cedeno) and get that hit was great.”
Allenson blamed the early offensive struggles on Jordan’s dominance.
“Give the hitters some credit because we saw a real tough pitcher today,” Allenson said. “The kid’s got some good stuff. I think we were fortunate to get a run off him in the first inning.”
Allenson was relieved to see Syracuse go to the bullpen after Jordan allowed two hits in the eighth.
“It was a pitcher’s duel today,” Allenson said. “I was kind of happy Jordan came out of the game today, regardless of who was coming in with the way he was pitching.”
Neil Wagner pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save, his fourth of the season and 20th in 20 chances as a Bison.
Allenson planned on using Wagner whether a save opportunity arose or not, as he hasn’t seen much action lately.
“He was gonna pitch whether we were winning, losing or tied,” Allenson said. “It was nice to get him in the game. He looked a little rusty, but he hasn’t pitched in five days.”
The Bisons will take the field again today (1:05 p.m., Radio 1520 AM) at Coca-Cola Field for the third game of a four-game set against Syracuse. The first 3,000 fans to arrive through the Swan Street gate will receive a free Bisons home cap. Ryan Tatusko will take the hill for the Chiefs while struggling former MLB all-star Ricky Romero (0-3, 5.71) is scheduled to start for Buffalo.