The Buffalo Bisons came out of the All-Star break with a limp offensive performance and a struggle on the mound.
Aaron Sanchez was erratic in the first inning of his major league rehabilitation start while the Herd managed just five hits in an 8-1 loss to the Columbus Clippers at Coca-Cola Field on Thursday night.
On the board: The Bisons avoided their 13th shutout in the ninth thanks to a two-out RBI single by Andy Burns.
Out at the plate: The Bisons threatened to score in the second when Ramon Santiago reached on an error and Ryan Schimpf blasted a double to right-center field. Santiago wheeled home, but the throw and tag at the plate were in time.
Out at the plate II: This time, it was the Clippers’ turn. Zach Walters booked home on a single in the third, but he didn’t attempt to slide. The throw from right fielder Caleb Gindl was strong and catcher Josh Thole turned and tagged Walters on the back of his leg before he reached the plate.
Final line on Sanchez: Sanchez gave up two runs on five hits. He threw 63 pitches in 3∑ innings with two walks, three strikeouts and one hit batter. He was making his first start with the Herd and third of his MLB rehab stint for a strained back muscle.
All-Star return: One day removed from the Triple-A All-Star Game, Matt Hague was back in the Buffalo lineup. The International League’s leading hitter went 1 for 3 with an RBI as the IL defeated the Pacific Coast League All-Stars, 4-3. Bisons reliever Gregory Infante pitched ∏ of an inning, getting a groundout and a strikeout.
Pan-Am update: Bisons pitchers Andrew Albers and Jeff Francis are enjoying preliminary round success with Team Canada at the Pan-American Games being held in Toronto. Both have seen action in two games with Francis picking up two saves. Albers has given up two runs in four innings of work. Canada played Puerto Rico on Thursday and meets the U.S. on Friday.
Pitchers of record: Sanchez (0-1) took the loss in his rehab start. Toru Murata (7-4) picked up the win for Columbus.
Time of game: 2:39.
Paid attendance: 8,217.
Records: The Bisons are 45-47. Columbus is 51-41.
Next up: The series continues at 7:05 p.m. Friday with Daniel Norris (2-9, 4.12) scheduled to go for the Bisons while Columbus will go with Shaun Marcum (6-1, 2.52).