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Nothing doing for Herd in loss

There was a whole lot of nothing going on Tuesday night in Coca-Cola Field.

No runs from the Buffalo Bisons, who endured their first home shutout of the season with a dreary 8-0 loss to the Syracuse Chiefs.

No Bryce Harper, with the Chiefs' megaprospect outfielder already gone to Washington and making his home debut against Arizona.

No more winning streak for the Bisons, who were stymied in their bid to take five straight for the first time since August, 2010.

No fans. (OK, there were about 500 chilled souls in the house with a paid tally of 4,581).

No Matt Harvey. The Mets' top prospect and former No. 1 pick had his start pushed back to tonight's game by Monday's rainout.

No Jim Negrych, as the St. Francis product who was just called up to Syracuse Monday from Double-A Harrisburg did not play with Buffalo left-hander Garrett Olson (1-1) on the mound. Negrych had a two-run single and two walks in a 12-4 win Monday over Charlotte.

Not even any Chicken Wing in the nightly mascot race. He got a one-game suspension for bumping Celery Sunday afternoon and was replaced by Atomic Wing, who sizzled to a runaway victory. Seriously.

So what was there?

This one was mostly about seven shutout innings by Syracuse starter Zach Duke (2-1), a 2009 National League All-Star for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and a 14-hit Syracuse attack that was highlighted by a three-run fourth.

Brett Carroll led off with a solo homer to left off Olson, Corey Brown's two-out, two-run single to left-center made it 3-0.

"The fourth inning was a turning point," said Buffalo manager Wally Backman. "[Olson] threw an 0-2 breaking ball and hung it to a left-handed hitter. That gives them the other two runs and forces guys to put a little bit more pressure on themselves to get a big hit."

Duke and Austin Bibens-Dirkx combined on a four-hitter. A lone bright spot for the Herd was Vinny Rottino's infield hit in the sixth that pushed his hit streak to 12 games.

As for Harvey, he will make just his second home start of the season when the teams meet again tonight at 6 (Radio 1520 AM). He gave up six runs in 3 2/3 innings here April 15 against Pawtucket.

Harvey (2-1) has been sensational in his last two starts with a 2.08 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 13 innings in wins at Syracuse and Lehigh Valley.

"I want to see him pound the strike zone and throw first-pitch strikes," Backman said. "For Matt, when he throws first-pitch strikes, he can expand the zone. And his stuff is so good that it keeps hitters way off balance. His tempo is a big key for him."

email: mharrington@buffnews.com