Scott Diamond celebrated his 30th birthday by taking the mound for the Buffalo Bisons. He was pitching on short rest but spun a gem, pitching five shutout innings to pace the Herd to a 8-2 win over the Syracuse Chiefs at Coca-Cola Field Saturday.
Diamond gave up five hits and struck out five against no walks to improve to 7-10. He pitched on only three days rest, last taking the mound for the second half of a doubleheader at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday.
"If anything during the week it made it a little easier because I didn't have as much time to think about approaching the Chiefs and how we wanted to do it," Diamond said of the short rest. "But I think getting to watch," Drew Hutchison "throw and then" Scott "Copeland yesterday it kind of helped me be able to take a little from their game plan and put it into my own."
The changeup: Diamond said the changeup was working well and credited catcher A.J. Jimenez with his call behind the plate. "We were able to get the change up in a lot. Copeland had success yesterday with the slider so we thought trying to keep them off balance would be the best approach. A.J. did a great job calling it and I was just able to execute it."
Scoring early: The Herd jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. It started when Dalton Pompey drew a lead-off walk then scored from second when Jesus Montero belted a single up the middle for his 53rd RBI of the season. Ryan Goins singled then scored on a ground out from Dom Brown. In the fourth, the lead extended to 3-0 when A.J. Jimenez had a two-out RBI double.
Costly error: The Chiefs got on the board in the sixth with two unearned runs. Brian Goodwin had a leadoff single then Michael Taylor hit an easy fly out to left only Brown dropped the ball. That put runners on second and third with no outs. Back-to-back infield ground outs by Matt Skole and Matt den Dekker scored both, cutting the Herd's lead to 3-2.
Insurance inning: It was a wild seventh for the Herd. A walk and a single started the frame then Ryan Goins tried to sacrifice bunt. It came back to pitcher Erik Davis who fell trying to play the ball. The bases were loaded with no outs when a passed ball allowed Jimenez to score from third. A two-run single from Brown expanded the lead to 6-2.
Speaking of Brown: The single in the seventh extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the second longest active streak in the IL. In all on Saturday he drove in four runs in a 2 for 5 performance.
All the runs: It was the most runs the Herd has scored since an 11-8 loss to Norfolk on July 18.
Unearned: Of the seven runs the Bisons scored only three were earned thanks to a pair of Syracuse errors.
Counting the house: There were 8,365 at Coca-Cola Field Saturday night.
Up next: The homestand concludes at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. The Bisons are scheduled to start Chris Leroux (7-7, 4.03) while Syracuse will start Lucas Giolito (1-0, 0.00). Giolito has been part of trade rumors, mostly about the Washington Nationals trading him to the New York Yankees to acquire Andrew Miller. After Sunday's game, the Bisons have a scheduled off day on Monday before starting a seven-game, six-day road trip on Aug. 2.