NORFOLK, Va. — It was an eventful day for Ricky Romero.
The Buffalo Bisons’ pitcher lost his position on the Toronto Blue Jays’ 40-man roster. Then he was the starting pitcher for the Bisons in their game against Norfolk on Saturday night.
Romero had his longest outing as a Bisons’ starter as the Herd played the Tides. He pitched six innings to a no-decision as Norfolk defeated Buffalo, 6-5, on a walk-off homer by Trayvon Robinson in the bottom of the ninth.
Romero, who’s owed nearly $21 million on a contract that runs through 2015, was outrighted to Buffalo after all major league teams declined to pick up his contract on waivers. The pitcher has struggled badly this season, a large comedown for someone who won 15 games for the Blue Jays only two years ago. Toronto needed to make room on the roster for Ramon Ortiz, who was recalled from Buffalo.
Romero went 0-2 with a 12.46 ERA for Toronto earlier this season. He had major struggles in Buffalo after that, taking a 13.85 ERA into Saturday’s game.
The hurler started on a shaky note. He gave up a total of four runs in the first two innings, including a two-run homer by Russ Canzler in the bottom of the first.
However, he gave Buffalo a chance to rally from there. The Herd scored four runs in the top of the fourth to even the game. Mauro Gomez hit a two-run homer, and Ryan Goins drove in two more with a single.
Romero gave up another run in the bottom of the fourth, but Buffalo tied the game in the fifth on a Luis Jimenez home run.
The Buffalo pitcher left after the sixth, giving up eight hits, five runs and no walks. That lowered his ERA for the Herd to 11.84, as he threw 53 strikes in 83 pitches.
The game stayed 5-5 until the bottom of the ninth. Chad Beck pitched a scoreless eighth inning and then got the first out in the ninth. But he made a mistake to Robinson, who hit a home run to right field. It was Robinson’s fifth home run of the season.
Beck fell to 1-1, while Jairo Asencio (3-0) was the winner for Norfolk after pitching a scoreless ninth.
The Bisons also announced before the game that Mickey Storey had been called up to Toronto, while Chad Jenkins was assigned to Buffalo. It’s Storey’s second trip to the Toronto roster this season. The Blue Jays played a 17-inning game on Friday night in San Diego and needed help in their bullpen.
The Bisons continue their series this afternoon in Norfolk (1 p.m., Radio 1520 AM).