It was the worst night of the season for the Buffalo pitching staff Friday in Coca-Cola Field, as the Bisons gave up a season-high 13 hits in a 9-7 loss to the Louisville Bats.
The Buffalo bullpen had given up just 11 earned runs all season, but reliever Luis Perez was torched for six in the sixth inning Friday as Louisville turned a 3-2 game into a 9-2 laughter. The Bisons quickly rallied for three in their half of the sixth and single runs in the seventh and eighth but could get no closer.
Lots of offense: The 16 combined runs marked Buffalo’s highest-scoring game of the year, topping the 15 scored in a 9-6 loss here to Pawtucket on April 13. The 26 combined hits equaled the season mark, set in Buffalo’s 11-1 win April 23 at Lehigh Valley.
Start them up: Louisville leadoff man Irving Falu crushed a full-count pitch into the party deck in right field to open the Bats’ first and extend his hitting streak to 10 games. The ball was tossed back on to the field by the fans who had packed the deck for a staff party from the University at Buffalo.
Bats balance: Six Louisville players had two hits. The key blows in the sixth were two-run singles by Bryson Smith and third baseman Ivan DeJesus Jr., son of the longtime big-league shortstop.
Award winner: Buffalo infielder Chris Colabello was named International League Player of the Month for April earlier in the day, the first Bison so honored since Andy Marte in June, 2006. Colabello, who went 2 for 5 Friday, entered the game batting .338 with IL highs in home runs (5) and RBIs (16).
Ducks stuck on the pond: Caleb Gindl, Buffalo’s No. 9 hitter, struck out to end the second and leave runners at the corners. He fanned again with one out and the bases loaded in the fourth but converted in the sixth by lacing an RBI double to left.
Welcome back: Austin Bibens-Dirkx came back from Double-A New Hampshire for the second time this season to make a spot start in place of the gone-to-Toronto Andrew Albers. Bibens-Dirkx gave up three runs on five hits over four innings.
Welcome back II: Right fielder Melky Mesa and shortstop Kevin Nolan, both up from New Hampshire, made their season debuts for Buffalo. Mesa, who was in the Yankees’ chain from 2006-2013, played three games for the Bisons last year. He was batting .412 in 12 games this season at New Hampshire. Nolan, who played 21 games for Buffalo last year, was batting .304 in 15 games at Double-A. Both players had two hits in the game, and Mesa scored two runs.
Between innings entertainment: Some good cheers for the Bisons Big Board when video of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly announcing the Bills’ selection of Florida State defensive back Ronald Darby was shown in the middle of the eighth.
Paid attendance: 6,437, the largest since Opening Day.
Records: Bisons 14-8, Louisville 9-14.
Next up: Saturday vs. Louisville at 1:05. There will be Kentucky Derby-themed promotions throughout the game. Buffalo’s Scott Copeland (2-1, 1.44) will pitch against Louisville’s Raisel Iglesian (0-1, 3.86)