To say the Buffalo Bisons are struggling would be putting it lightly. The Herd continued their losing ways Thursday with a 5-3 loss to the Syracuse Chiefs. It's the team's ninth-straight defeat.
Syracuse took command of the game in the fourth inning, scoring three runs on a Matt Skole home run and Matt den Dekker triple.
Lousy month: July has not been kind to the Bisons.
The Herd are 6-19 with three games left in the month. Not counting Septembers, this will be the first full month where the Bisons don't win 10 games since the team's first with the New York Mets, April 2009. Most of the team's issues have come in friendly territory. Buffalo is 2-12 at home in July.
This is the fourth time in the modern era the Bisons have lost nine in a row and the first since 2003. If the Herd lose Friday they'll tie the team's ten-game losing streak in 1994, Buffalo's final ten games with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Offense?: The Bisons haven't put up many runs during this stretch. Friday was a change of pace, as the team has scored one or less run 12 times this month.
The homer: Skole absolutely crushed his home run to right field, clearing the green and white tent in the parking lot. Right fielder Domonic Brown knew immediately. He didn't even bother to move.
LP: Drew Hutchison was doing well until the fourth. He faced the minimum through three, forcing Jhonathan Solano into a double play after walking Skole in the second. He gave up five hits and three earned runs in six innings.
Goins, but not gone yet: Second baseman Ryan Goins went 1 for 4 in his 11th rehab game in Buffalo.
Roster Moves: Toronto optioned pitchers Ryan Tepera and Bo Schultz to the Bisons Thursday. The Bisons made room by placing infielder Alexi Casilla on the DL and releasing catcher Tony Sanchez.
Counting The House: 7,142 people were at Coca-Cola Field for the game.
Up Next: The Bisons will play the second game of the series Friday at 7:05 p.m. Righty Scott Copeland (0-1, 6.00 ERA) goes for the Herd against righty Paolo Espino (6-9, 3.62 ERA). 1961 International League MVP Ted Savage and the Alex Ramirez, the team's modern-era leader in single-season home runs (34) and and RBIs (103), will be inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame during the game. Video tributes will be played for both players.