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Herd lack clutch hitting in another loss

A single from Rio Ruiz in the ninth inning gave the Gwinnett Braves a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Bisons Saturday night.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Bisons while Gwinnett continues to play well in Buffalo, picking up its 12th straight win over the Herd at Coca-Cola Field.

Gwinnett took a 1-0 lead in the fifth on an RBI ground out from former Toronto Blue Jay Emilio Bonifacio. The Herd tied the game in the eighth when A.J. Jimenez led off with a double, moved to third on a ground out by Alexi Casilla and then scored on a sacrifice to center by Dalton Pompey.

Rally fail: Domonic Brown led off the ninth with a double but Andy Burns grounded out to third and Matt Dominguez flew out to shallow right. Jimenez singled but Brown tried to score on the play and he was out at the plate on a throw from first baseman Reid Brignac.

Star Wars Night record: The Bisons are now 4-5 on Star Wars Night.

Hits but no runs: The Bisons got runners on base and into scoring position. Of their 10 hits, six were doubles. But the team went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base. “We hit the ball as hard as you can hit the ball and scored just one run,” manager Gary Allenson said. “If there is a silver lining that’s it right there.”

About Pompey: The center fielder went 1 for 3 with a single and a double and RBI. Since July 16 Pompey is hitting .433 (13 for 30) with seven runs scored while driving in eight.

Rehabbers: Ryan Goins (forearm strain) went 1 for 4 with a single in the eighth. Jose Bautista (toe) went 1 for 4, picking up his first hit with the Bisons in the eighth.

Quality start: For the second straight night, the Bisons’ starting pitcher put up a quality start but left with a 1-0 deficit. Drew Hutchison gave up one run on four hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out four throwing 108 pitches, 33 of them in the second inning.

Defensive web gems: There were a number of outstanding plays in the field. Goins, playing second, dove to his backhand to start a double play in the fourth. Then in the bottom of the inning Gwinnett right fielder Mel Rojas Jr. caught a shot from Ceciliani at the warning track and went face-first into the fence.

Ejected: Gary Allenson departed in the ninth inning when he argued balls and strikes with home plate umpire Shane Livensparger. “It was my first one,” Allenson said about the ejection. “I had to get it out of the way. ... Back when I played when the game got out of hand the strike zone expanded and if it was a close game it didn’t. I’ve seen the reverse a little too much nowadays. Whatever. He’s human just like we all are.”

Gwinnett Rehab: Left fielder Hector Olivera made his fourth appearance with the Braves. He is on the Atlanta Braves restricted list serving an 82-game suspension. He was suspended through Aug. 1 for his arrest on domestic violence charges. He went 1 for 4 Saturday and is now 3 for 17 (.176) in four games with the G-Braves.

Counting the house: For the fourth straight year Star Wars Night was a sold-out crowd of 17,600.

Up next: The Bisons conclude their homestand at 1:05 p.m. Sunday (Radio 1520 AM) with righty Wilmer Font (1-2, 5.28) getting the start against righty Casey Kelly (2-6, 3.95). The Bisons then head to Moosic, Pa., for three games with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The team returns to Buffalo on Thursday to open a series with Syracuse.

email: amoritz@buffnews.com

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