After winning the last three of a four-game series at Toledo behind a combined 21 runs, the Buffalo Bisons returned home and dropped the opener against Indianapolis, 8-3. The Indians scored runs in innings 2-5 for enough of a cushion, including a pair of home runs from third baseman Gift Ngoepe, only his fourth and fifth long balls of the season.
The Bisons mustered three runs on seven hits, but Indy's 15 hits were far too much for the hosts to overcome. Buffalo dropped to 54-68, while the visitors improved to 68-53 with 16 games remaining on the schedule for Bobby Meacham's squad.
Here are a couple quick observations from the game.
Another L for Luis: Starter Luis Santos took his 11th loss of the year with the Bisons, falling to 3-11 after throwing three innings and allowing four runs. Santos gave up three in the second on Ngoepe's three-run shot to left and an RBI double off the bat of Max Moroff in the third. Santos' ERA ballooned 25 points from 3.95 to 4.20 after his outing. It's been a disappointing year for the right-hander in Buffalo, and he hasn't won in his last six starts, dating back to July 7 at Pawtucket.
"I thought there was something wrong with Santos from the very beginning," Meacham said. "I couldn't tell what exactly, but he just didn't look the same. To me it didn't look like he was down in the zone, looked like he was flat. I guess his finger was bothering him, like a nail or a blister ... he said he couldn't go anymore so we just had to scramble to try to get some guys out there to get out and they were swinging good already."
Streaks: While left fielder Michael Saunders extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a sixth-inning single, Rowdy Tellez saw his 12-game run end with an 0-for-4 night while his average dropped to .220. His last at-bat ended in a looking strikeout, after which he spiked every piece of equipment he had on him into the ground.
"To do that is silly," Meacham said, "otherwise you could do that every time, right, hitting .200."
Danny Jansen walked in his lone at-bat, so his streak stays at seven games.
"He's done everything that he's kind of been striving to do," Meacham said of Jansen, who has played only eight with the Bisons. " ... His priorities of this year, trying to attack fastballs and then battle late in the count if he has to. Off-speed stuff, he's done that well, hit a lot of line drives."
Montero on rehab: Blue Jays catcher Miguel Montero played his first game for Buffalo this season after suffering a right groin injury earlier this month that sent him to the DL. He had only played 13 games with Toronto after coming over from the Cubs on July 3. On Tuesday, he went 0-for-3 with two flyouts and a strikeout before being replaced by Jansen late in the game.
Roemon runs: Center fielder Roemon Fields stole his 36th base of the season in the third inning. He's now six swipes away from breaking Tony Womack all-time franchise record. He needs an average of one steal every 24 innings the rest of the season to do that.
Brett to Buffalo: Veteran left-hander Brett Anderson signed with Toronto as a free agent on Tuesday and Blue Jays' manager John Gibbons said the southpaw will join Buffalo's starting rotation. Anderson made six starts for the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs this season, amassing an 8.19 ERA in 22 innings. He was put on the 60-day disabled list earlier this season with a back injury, designated for assignment in July and released on Aug. 1.
"We'll see where he's at," Gibbons said in a release. "We've always liked him here, and that goes back a few years. He had always been a good pitcher but he couldn't stay healthy. We signed him, we'll send him to Buffalo ... and see how he looks."
Attendance: 8,250 watched the Bisons in their 10th-to-last home game of the year.
Up next: The Indians and Bisons play again at 7:05 Wednesday night. Lefty Brett Oberholtzer (4-7, 4.15) throws for Buffalo and Nick Kingham (7-6, 3.70) tosses for Indianapolis.
"Now you try to look ahead to the end ... that's when you falter," Meacham said of the season's final stretch. "You gotta just look to tomorrow and try and get better."