The Buffalo Bisons took an early lead but couldn’t hold on, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Columbus Clippers at Coca-Cola Field on Friday night.
It was the eighth straight win for the Clippers, the hottest team in the International League.
Take advantage: With two runners on and two outs in the second, Melky Mesa blasted a shot to left field. A strong wind at Coca-Cola Field made tracking the ball difficult for Columbus left fielder Zach Walters. He had the ball in his glove, then dropped it. Two runs scored and the Herd took a 2-0 lead.
The Columbus rally Part I: Daniel Norris settled into a solid groove for the first 3∑ innings, then ran into trouble in the fourth. With one out he issued back-to-back walks then a line single to shallow center. A sacrifice fly to center by Zach Walters scored one run. Norris ended the inning by fielding a ground out.
The Columbus rally Part II: Norris had a few more hiccups in the fifth, giving up a hit and a four-pitch walk around two fly outs. A two-run double from Jesus Aguilar gives Columbus a 3-2 lead.
The final line on Norris: He gave up three runs on four hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out three. He threw 97 pitches, 53 for strikes.
Another start for Sanchez: Looks like Aaron Sanchez will be making another rehab start with the Bisons. That was the word from Toronto when manager John Gibbons met with the media before Friday night’s game with Tampa Bay in Rogers Centre. Sanchez took the loss giving up two runs but Gibbons is looking for signs of better command after Sanchez threw just 32 of his 63 pitches for strikes.
“I don’t think you can look at the score but when you talk about ball-strike ratio, yeah that matters,” Gibbons said. “Very rarely do you see guys down on rehab dominate down there. I can’t remember ever seeing it much when I was in the Minor Leagues. But it’s not like he’s some old vet either, going down there. Really, he’s still figuring himself out anyway.”
Roster move: Dalton Pompey returned to the Buffalo Bisons from Double-A New Hampshire. He played in Friday’s game, starting in center field and batting second. The Bisons placed infielder Ryan Schmipf on the disabled list.
Living in the Hall of Fame: Before Friday’s game three people were inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame. Infielder Greg LaRocca played three seasons for the Bisons from 2001-03 hitting .295 in 300 career games with the Herd including 324 hits (seventh in the franchise modern era) and 73 doubles (fourth). Chris Coste (2000-03) hit .307 in 230 career games with Buffalo, the fourth-best mark in the team’s modern era. Kevin Lester, a Williamsville native and St. Bonaventure graduate, has been part of the Bisons’ organization since 1982 and has been one of the team’s official scorers since 1986.
Pitchers of record: Daniel Norris fell to 2-10. Shaun Marcum improved to 7-1.
Time of game: 2:27
Paid attendance: 11,058
Records: The Bisons are 45-48. Columbus is 52-41.
Next up: The series continues at 6:05 p.m. Saturday with righty Scott Copeland (5-3, 2.45) facing lefty Michael Roth (7-4, 3.67). Saturday is the annual Star Wars Night at Coca-Cola Field. Fans are advised to print their tickets at home or arrive at will call early as the game will be sold out.