It wasn’t the way the Buffalo Bisons wanted to enter the All-Star Break.
After pulling out two straight one-run games against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Herd suffered in all areas of play Sunday, falling by 8-1 to the RailRiders at Coca-Cola Field.
Daniel Norris had a rough start as he still tries to find a groove in hopes of returning to the Toronto this season. Meanwhile the Bisons’ offense couldn’t solve the top prospect in the Yankees organization, managing just one hit against Luis Severino and two for the game.
The Bisons did not lose any ground in the IL North Division race. They enter the All-Star break trailing Rochester by four games.
The hiccup inning: The trend for Norris is to have one inning of struggle. It came in the third when he gave up back-to-back hits. He got a ground out and a shallow fly out but gave up a three-run homer to Greg Bird. It pretty much unraveled for all the Bisons after that.
So about Norris: After perhaps his best outing with the Bisons in a 15-1 win at Rochester on Tuesday, Norris couldn’t follow it on Sunday. He was tagged for six runs on nine hits with two walks and just one strikeout. In his 4∏ innings, Norris threw 92 pitches, 41 for strikes.
Allenson on Norris: “You know, Norris pitched better than his numbers indicate,” manager Gary Allenson said. “He had Bird 1-2 and was basically throwing fastball, slider. Coulda mixed in a curve ball there especially when he’s ahead in the count there. It got to 3-2 and if you throw a 3-2 fastball and it’s not in your spot, you’re gonna get hurt sometimes.
“I think he was getting a little frustrated out there, especially the little nubbers that started the three-run inning off. I think he realizes the other guy is really good and can’t afford to give anybody more and probably tried to be too fine. Got out of his rhythm little bit.”
Bird is the word: Bird has driven in five runs the last two games, including four on Sunday. Considered the No. 4 prospect in the Yankees organization he made his Triple-A debut on July 4 after opening the season in Double A.
On the board: The Herd avoided their 13th shutout in the ninth. Melky Mesa got on base when hit by a pitch, Matt Hague drew a walk and Alex Hassan singled. A sacrifice to center by Ryan Schimpf scored Mesa.
Pitchers of record: Norris fell to 2-9. Severino moved to 5-0.
Time of game: 2:41.
Paid attendance: 8,802.
Records: Bisons slip to 45-46. WB is 48-44.
Next up: The Bisons are off for the next three days for the Triple-A All-Star Break. They open an eight-game homestand on Thursday facing Columbus.