Bisons starter Jarrett Grube gave up eight runs, five earned, in four innings. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

It was just a sloppy game.

From the pitching to the defense to leaving runners on base, the Buffalo Bisons lacked focus in a 9-5 loss to the Norfolk Tides at Coca-Cola Field Wednesday night.

It was the most runs the Bisons have given up this season. The Buffalo pitching staff came into the contest with the best earned run average in the International League at 2.75.

Jarrett Grube had a rough start, pitching four full innings and to three batters in the fifth. Grube gave up eight runs, although only five were earned. He allowed seven hits with three walks, three strike outs and two hit batters. The Bisons committed three errors during the game, two while Grube was on the mound.

"I saw just a couple replays on the board where he threw sliders and they just spun," manager Bobby Meacham said of Grube's outing. "They didn't have that natural sharp break, the depth that he usually throws with a slider. It just wasn't there.

"There was a lot of bad baseball. Base running was not sharp. A lot of defensive plays were not made sharp. We did leave some guys out there that we haven't been doing in the past. We just weren't sharp. ... It was just basically a sloppy game."

Norfolk's early lead: The Tides took a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Chance Sisco  hit a bases-loaded double. The runs were unearned after third baseman Jason Leblebijian booted a ground ball. His error loaded the bases with two outs.

Inching back: The Bisons responded with a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI double from Michael Ohlman. The Herd then scored a run in the third when Jake Elmore drew a one-out walk with the bases loaded to score a run and cut the Tides' lead to 3-2.

Another three-run inning: The Tides opened up a 6-2 lead in the fourth. Sisco (hit by pitch) and Drew Dosch (walk) got on base and Paul Janish drove them home with a three-run shot over the left-field fence.

Another rally: The Bisons loaded the bases again in the fourth with three straight singles from Ian Parmley, Leblebijian and Christian Lopes. Dwight Smith Jr. drove in a run when his hit to center field dropped short. A sacrifice to center by Gregorio Petit scored another run to cut the lead to 6-4.

Another separation: An RBI double from Robert Andino and an RBI single from Sisco gave the Tides an 8-4 lead in the fifth.

Showing off the arm: In the third, right fielder Dwight Smith Jr. made a catch on the run toward the line then gunned an off-balance throw to first base to double-off the runner and end the inning.

And showing off the bat: Smith Jr. drove in two runs for the Herd, going 4 for 4 with a walk. It was the first four-hit performance by a Bison this season.

Ice bag patrol: Sisco had a rough day behind and at the plate for the Tides. The catcher, and top prospect in the Orioles' organization, took a foul ball of the inside of his leg during the third inning. Then to lead off the fourth, he was hit by a pitch.

Delayed start: Rain showers that passed through Western New York delayed the start of the game by an hour.

Roster move: Right-handed pitcher Luis Santos was promoted form Double-A New Hampshire as righty Wil Browning was placed on the Temporary Inactive List. It was the Triple-A debut for Santos who pitched three innings of scoreless relief giving up two hits with one walk and three strike outs.

Counting the stands: The official paid attendance was 4,331 but only a few hundred braved the ballpark on a cold, wet night.

Up next: The series concludes with a 1:05 first pitch on Thursday. Righty Mike Bolsinger (0-1, 4.15) is scheduled to start for the Herd. Norfolk's starter is TBA.

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