Call-ups and injuries have turned the sunny days of April and May into a dreaded June swoon for the Buffalo Bisons. But if the Herd can acquire more players like Jorge Padilla, there's always hope.
In his first game as a starter with the Bisons, Padilla went 2 for 6 in the team's 12-inning, 7-3 loss to the Indianapolis Indians in front of an announced Father's Day crowd of 11,578 Sunday at Coca-Cola Field.
The Bisons had chances to produce runs but lacked the clutch hitting to advance the runners. The Herd was 4 for 11 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
"We had a lot of chances and couldn't come up with a big hit," Bisons manager Ken Oberkfell said. "We got 12 hits, but what were we with runners in scoring position? We didn't hit in the clutch."
The Indians were worse in terms of men left on base (12) but they scored four runs in the top of the 12th. Jeff Clement -- who struck out four times -- smacked an RBI double to right center to knock in two runs and break a 3-3 tie. Brandon Moss' ground-rule double scored Clements and, after Argenis Diaz walked, Doug Bernier hit a line single to center to score Moss.
"You can't keep thinking bad about it, that's baseball," Padilla said. "We wanted to get that game and it slipped away."
The Toronto Blue Jays might look at Padilla as one that slipped away down the road while the Bisons view the pick-up as a gift that fell into their lap.
"He's a great acquisition for us and he's hit everywhere he's been and I don't expect him to do any different," Oberkfell said. "He's going to hit, play center field and hopefully bring us some spark."
Prior to Saturday's game -- another extra innings loss to the Indians, 9-3 in 10 innings -- the New York Mets announced they had acquired the outfielder from Toronto and assigned him to the Herd. He entered Saturday's game as a defensive replacement in the eighth and struck out in the ninth. He was the leadoff man on Sunday.
"It caught me by surprise," Padilla said. "I didn't really know I was going to get traded, but here I am. I'm healthy -- thank God -- and looking forward to keep doing what I was doing."
Padilla, 30, was hitting .330 in 50 games with Las Vegas and was batting .439 this month.
"He has an idea of what he's doing at the plate," Indians manager Frank Kremblas said. "He can run a little bit, will steal a base for you, and he can play multiple positions which is always helpful."
Padilla led all full-season minor leaguers with a .367 batting average last year at Syracuse, falling just 38 plate appearances shy of winning the league's batting title.
"I can bring a lot of things to the table. I can play defense, I can hit, I get on base and I do small things," Padilla said. "I know I can bring a lot of stuff."
The recent acquisitions of Padilla and infielder Justin Turner -- who went 2 for 5 Sunday with a pair of RBIs -- is further evidence that the Mets are stocking talent.
"It gives us a lot of extra players in case you need players at the major league level and you're still competitive at the Triple A level," Oberkfell said.
Indianapolis 7, Bisons 3 (12)
The pitch: Indians score four innings in the 12th inning. ... Catcher J.R. House goes 4 for 4 and scores a run. ... Justin Turner goes 2 for 5 with a pair of RBIs.
Fast fact: St. Francis alum Jim Negrych goes 8 for 22 in the four-game series.
Next game: Today at Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m.