Buffalo Bisons manager Gary Allenson doesn’t normally make use of the pinch hitter. He did on Sunday. And for half an inning it paid off.
Locked in a scoreless game with the Louisville Bats in the bottom of the eighth, Ricardo Nanita doubled on a line drive to center field.
That brought Mike Nickeas up and the catcher had singled in his last at-bat, just the second hit of the day for the Herd off Louisville starter Chien-Ming Wang.
But Allenson brought in Chris Getz to pinch hit, and the move worked as he smacked a double down the left-field line to score Nanita and put the Bisons up, 1-0.
“It’s tough to pinch hit for a guy who got a hit his last time up but Getz isn’t just sitting the bench,” Allenson said. “Their guy Wang had us tied up. I wished he delivered the ball a little quicker from the windup. He was mixing his pitches and getting ahead. He deserved a chance to win there and Getz came off the bench and got a big hit for us there. We couldn’t nail it down.”
After going up, 1-0, the Herd gave up two runs in the top of the ninth, including a bases-loaded walk, in a 2-1 loss to the Bats.
Getz has hits in 11 of his last 12 games. Coming into Sunday, he was batting .299 in 17 games with eight runs batted in.
It was the only time the Bisons got to Wang. He gave up the one run on four hits. He struck out six and issued no walks in eight innings of work. He threw 95 pitches, 70 for strikes, in earning his second win of the season.
Wang started six games with the Toronto Blue Jays last season, going 1-2 with a 7.67 earned run average. He spent most of July and August with the Bisons, going 4-3 in nine appearances (eight starts) with a 3.48 ERA. He was signed by the Cincinnati Reds to a minor league contract in December.
Anthony Gose was not in the Bisons’ starting lineup Sunday. Gose jammed his thumb attempting to make a diving catch in the outfield on Saturday. He stayed in the game but his thumb was swollen after the game and remained so on Sunday.
“He’s on a day-to-day basis,” Allenson said. “It was swollen when he went to get X-rays. It was swollen this morning. The swelling has gone down. He’ll go in the cage, take some batting practice, and if it doesn’t bother him, we’ll put him back out there.”
Gose did enter the game as a pinch runner for Dan Johnson in the ninth when the Herd had runners on the corners with one out. But it took Gose a while to get himself into the game as he reportedly had to go back into the clubhouse to put on his spikes.
Allenson clearly was not amused. When asked what the holdup was for Gose getting into the game he said, “I think he was putting his makeup on there because it was a TV game.”
Kevin Pillar’s single in the ninth inning extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … The announced paid attendance was 5,051. … The series continues at 6:05 tonight (Radio 1520 AM). The scheduled starter for Buffalo is Kyle Drabek (1-2, 5.03 ERA) while Louisville will counter with Chad Reinke (0-1, 5.82).