Andrew Stevenson grounded a single into left field in the bottom of the ninth scoring Irving Falu from third with the winning run in a 2-1 Syracuse Chiefs victory over the Buffalo Bisons Saturday night before 5,104 at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse.
It seemed game was headed for extra innings before the Chiefs scratched out a run against Wil Browning, the fourth Buffalo pitcher. Pedro Severino singled to second base but a strike out and a force play at second seemed to kill the potential rally. However, pinch-hitter Falu, who had reached on a fielder's choce, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch while Rafael Bautista was drawing a walk. That brought Stevenson to bat.
The Bisons had their opportunity to take the lead in the top of the ninth. Jason Leblebijian led off with a single, his fourth hit of the game.After MikeIhlman flied to right, Shanw Opitz walked moving Leblebijian to second. He went to third when Jon Berti was hitting into a force play at second
Murphy’s Law: Murphy Smith made his eighth start of the season for the Bisons and went as deep as the sixth inning for the first time. Primarily a relief pitcher -- 29 of his appearances were in relief -- he gave up just one run on four hits. Until recently he was a spot or emergency starter for the Herd. However, he got no farther when Ian Parmley struck out to end the inning.
The last place Chiefs (54-86) trail the Bisons (64-76) in the North Division standings of the International League but Syracuse leads the season series between the clubs, 9-8.
Four by four: It was the second time in second time in the last eight games that Leblebijian had four hits in a game. He had four in an August 26 loss at Rochester, 6-3.
Larceny Dept.: Berti's steal of second base in the ninth inning was the Bisons' 141st of the season, leaving the Herd two short of the 143 achieved in 1999. It was Berti's 23rd theft of the season.
Wearing out the basepaths: Even though is was a 1-1 game going into the ninth, there was plenty of activity on the bases. Only three times in the game did one team or the other go down in order without anybody reaching base. Problem was it was station-to-station baseball. Only two of the 15 hits the teams combined for in 8 1/2 innings went for extra bases. Both were doubles.
Alford Report: After two games with Buffalo, Blue Jays outfield prospect Anthony Alford is 3 for 8. He was 1 for 3 Saturday after his 2-for-5 debut on Friday.
Up next: Right-hander Nick Tepesch (3-3, 4.21) will get the start for the Bisons against right-hander John Simms (2-4, 5.63) in tonight's third game (Radio 1520, 7:05 p.m.) of the season-ending four-game series.