Andrew Albers got some long-overdue support from the Buffalo Bisons’ bats Saturday evening.
The Bisons’ starting pitcher improved to 2-5 in Buffalo’s 16-2 victory over the Toldeo Mud Hens. The Bisons had scored just six runs in Albers’ previous six starts.
In control: Despite his record, Albers is enjoying an excellent season. He entered the game ranked sixth in the International League in earned-run average at 2.29. Albers showed fine command, throwing the first pitch in the strike zone to 21 of the 27 batters he faced. He allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, with two walks and three strike outs.
“He’s 2-5 but he probably could be 5-2 or 6-1,” said Bisons manager Gary Allenson. “He’s not afraid of the strike zone, not afraid of contact, getting ahead. He mixes it up, he’s got some deception out there.”
Too much time: The Bisons benefitted from a pitching-clock violation in the first inning, and it helped Buffalo break the game open. There were two out and men on second and third. The count was full to Buffalo’s Melky Mesa. But the 20-second pitch clock ran out before Mike Belfiore delivered from the mound. The umpire called a ball, and Mesa was awarded first base. Chris Dickerson came to bat and hit a grand slam.
Allenson said he doesn’t think such a rule belongs in baseball. “I’m not real happy with that,” he said.
Murky: The game was played amid a mild fog most of the game. A dense fog rolled in during the top of the eighth, and after a 16-minute wait the game was called.
Scott debut: Nine-year major-league veteran Luke Scott played his first game for the Bisons after being signed to a minor-league contract by the Blue Jays. Scott, 36, has 135 HRs and 436 RBI in 889 big-league games. He last played for Tampa in 2013. He spent last season in Korea and played 28 games this spring in the Mexican league, hitting .292.
Scott showed off his power by going the opposite way to hit a two-run double off the left-field wall in the fourth inning to give the Bisons a 9-2 lead. He also had a single to center in the second inning.
Mercy? It got so bad for the Mud Hens, they inserted first baseman Jordan Lennerton to pitch with two out in the seventh inning and the score, 16-2. It was the first time the Bisons faced a positional player on the mound since
Base-path gaffe: Toledo’s Jefry Marte lost track of the outs in getting doubled off first base to end the fourth inning. Tyler Collins flew out to center field, and Marte was all the way to third base on the high fly, thinking there were two outs. The Bisons easily relayed back to first base to end the inning.
Time of game: 2:44.
Paid attendance: 6,375.
Records: The Bisons are 19-17. Toledo is 13-22 and lost for the 12th time in the last 15 games.
Next up: The series concludes at 1:05 p.m. Sunday with the Bisons celebrating Dog Day at the Ballpark. Dogs get in free. Kids can run the bases after every Sunday home game.
Mound showdown: Sunday’s pitching matchup pits Buffalo’s Daniel Norris, the top-rated prospect in the Toronto organization, against Toledo’s Buck Farmer, the No. 3-rated prospect in the Detroit system.