The Buffalo Bisons scored all their runs after two were out and Cesar Valdez pitched no-hit ball in his debut with the team Wednesday in a 7-1 victory over the Syracuse Chiefs. A Kids Day crowd of 8,852 turned out for the morning game at NBT Bank Stadium as the teams wrapped up their three-game series.
The Bisons moved on to Allentown, Pa., where they will face the Lehigh Valley IronPigs tonight (Radio 1520, 7 p.m.) in the opener of a four-game series. Buffalo (18-12) owned a half-game lead over the IronPigs (18-13) in the North Division standings of the International League prior to Lehigh Valley's home game Wednesday night against Rochester.
Clutch hitting: The Herd batted 4 for 9 (.444) with runners in scoring position. They left only three runners in scoring position. In two of the Bisons' three scoring innings, the rally did not start until after two were out. Shane Opitz's one-out single started things for the Herd with one out in their four-run third. It was Opitz again with a single in the fourth after two were out, and he scored the Buffalo run. Roemon Fields started things in the two-run fifth after two were out. Christian Lopes, Jake Elmore, Rowdy Tellez, Jason Leblebijian and Raffy Lopez came through with the RBI hits.
Perfect start: Valdez, a 32-year-old veteran right-hander, faced only 16 batters, one over the minimum in his four-inning starting stint. He threw 39 of 65 pitches for strikes. Valdez gave way to the Bisons' bullpen in the fifth because he was pitching in his first game in eight days. Only one Chief reached base against Valdez. Matt Skole walked with two out in the fourth. Valdez struck out two. Meanwhile, the Bisons got to Syracuse starter Taylor Hill for seven runs and nine hits in five innings. Buffal had just one hit the rest of the way.
Chiefs' threat: Syracuse left the bases full against Luis Santos in the seventh and scored its only run against Wil Browning in the ninth and Brandon Snyder doubled and came home on a single by Pedro Severino.
Up next: left-hander T.J. House (4-1, 1.24) will start for the Bisons in the series opener against Lehigh Valley tonight against right-hander Ricardo Pinto (2-3. 4.83).