It’s one big collective hitting slump.
The Buffalo Bisons are getting runners on base, but they’re not scoring runs.
It happened again Wednesday night as the Herd stranded seven runners in a 1-0 loss to the Toledo Mud Hens in front of 5,452 at Coca-Cola Field.
The Bisons have now lost eight of their last nine with four of those losses by one run.
“It’s how baseball works,” said outfielder Darin Mastroianni, who had three hits. “A couple of weeks ago we couldn’t lose. Every one-run game we found a way to win, and it just feels like now every one-run game we’re finding ways to lose.
“Again, our pitching has been fantastic. This has all been on the position players. We have to do a better job as a whole on the bases, on the field and swinging the bats right now.”
The pitching was good enough to keep the Bisons in the game and keep the Mud Hens off the board until the ninth inning.
Starter Radhames Liz, making his Bisons debut, pitched his way into a jam in the fourth, issuing three walks to load the bases, but he got Wade Gaynor to pop out to center to end the inning and the threat.
He left the game after that, giving up two hits and five walks with three strikeouts in four innings of work.
“I’ve seen him with better command,” manager Gary Allenson said of Liz’s outing. “He had too many walks. ... He was fortunate to get through four innings without giving up a run, but he made the pitches when he needed to. So that’s a positive.”
Liz, who pitched in 28 games for Baltimore from 2007 to 2009, played the last three seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization. The Blue Jays signed him as a free agent in March, but he began the season on the Bisons’ disabled list. He missed 44 games with right knee soreness.
The winning run came off Raul Valdes with one out in the top of the ninth. He gave up a solo home run to Gaynor, who drilled a 1-2 pitch to left field.
The Bisons failed to get a base runner in the bottom of the ninth but even if they did, the likelihood of scoring was slim. The Herd went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
“I think too many times we’re maybe thinking a little bit too much in the batter’s box. We’re looking at videos, trying to correct something and it’s not just seeing the ball and hitting it,” Allenson said.
The series continues today with a 10:35 a.m. start for School Kids Day. Right-hander Deck McGuire (1-0, 2.84) is scheduled to start for the Herd against Drew VerHagen (3-5, 3.77) of Toledo.