The Buffalo Bisons came out of the All-Star Break with a limp offensive performance and a struggle on the mound.
Aaron Sanchez was erratic in the first inning of his Major League rehabilitation start while the Herd managed just five hits in an 8-1 loss to the Columbus Clippers at Coca-Cola Field Thursday night.
Avoiding the shutout: The Bisons avoided their 13th shutout in the ninth thanks to a two-out RBI single by Andy Burns.
Out at the plate: The Bisons threatened to score in the second when Ramon Santiago reached on an error and Ryan Schimpf blasted a double to right center field. Santiago wheeled home, but the throw and tag at the plate came just in time.
Out at the plate II: This time, it was the Clippers’ turn. Zach Walters booked home on a single in the third, but he didn’t attempt to slide. The throw from right fielder Caleb Gindl was strong and catcher Josh Thole turned and tagged Walters on the back of his leg before he reached the plate.
Final line on Sanchez: Sanchez gave up two runs on five hits. He threw 63 pitches in 3 1/3 innings with two walks, three strike outs and one hit batter. He was making his first start with the Herd and third of his MLB rehab stint for a strained back muscle.
All Star Return: One day removed from the Triple-A All-Star Game, Matt Hague was back in the Buffalo Bisons lineup. The leading hitter in the International League went 1 for 3 with an RBI as the IL defeated the Pacific Coast League All-Stars, 4-3. Bisons reliever Gregory Infante pitched 2/3 of an inning getting a groundout and a strikeout.
Pan-Am Update: Bisons pitchers Andrew Albers and Jeff Francis are enjoying preliminary round success with Team Canada at the Pan-American Games being held in Toronto. Both have seen action in two games with Francis picking up two saves. Albers has given up two runs in four innings of work with five strikeouts. Canada played Puerto Rico Thursday and meets the U.S. Friday in the final preliminary round game.
Pitchers of record: Sanchez (0-1) took the loss in his rehab start. Toru Murata (7-4) picked up the win for Columbus.
Time of game: 2:39
Paid attendance: 8,217
Records: The Bisons are 45-47. Columbus is 51-41.
Next up: The series continues at 7:05 p.m. Friday with Daniel Norris (2-9, 4.12) scheduled to start for the Bisons while Columbus will counter with Shaun Marcum (6-1, 2.52).