SYRACUSE – Playing from behind can be risky business. The Buffalo Bisons learned that Monday night in a 6-5 loss to the Syracuse Chiefs at NBT Bank Stadium.
The Herd overcame a six-run deficit to win at Pawtucket, 11-10, on Sunday, but it was a different story this time. The Bisons rallied from a 5-0 deficit to tie the game, then reliever Miguel Castro gave up an eighth-inning run which put an end to Buffalo’s five-game winning streak.
Tony Gwynn Jr. opened the eighth inning against Castro with a single. He moved around to third on a single by Dan Butler and scored the winning run on Josh Johnson’s sacrifice fly to center field. Syracuse closer Rafael Martin then struck out the side in the top of the ninth to record the save.
Batting ninth, Johnson had a huge night for the last-place team in the North Division of the International League, driving in four runs.
No closure: Bisons starter Daniel Norris had difficulty closing out innings. After getting the second out in the second inning with two runners on, he walked Daniel Butler, then gave up a three-run double to Johnson. Again in the third, two walks and a single by Mario Lisson after two were out produced the fourth Syracuse run and an error at second by Jon Berti made it 5-0.
Hague watch: I.L. batting leader Matt Hague was the only player in the Bisons’ batting order who went hitless. Hague was 0 for 5 and failed to reach base in a road game for the first time since May 5 in Durham, ending a streak of 39 games.
Pompey carries on: Bisons center fielder Dalton Pompey extended his hit streak to 12 games with a single in the fifth inning.
Joba’s Debut: Former Yankees right-hander Joba Chamberlain made a brief but impressive debut with the Bisons, pitching a perfect seventh inning. He struck out two of the three batters he faced and threw 10 of 15 for strikes.
Records: Buffalo 53-50, Syracuse 41-63.
Pitchers of record: Sam Runion (1-2) who gave up the tying run to the Bisons in the top of the eighth, picked up the win for the Chiefs. Castro (1-3) took the loss.
Time of game: 2:59.
Next up: The Bisons and Chiefs will continue their four-game series Tuesday (7 p.m., Radio 1520 AM) with left-hander Jeff Francis (4-0, 1.80) scheduled for the Herd against right-hander Taylor Hill (3-5, 4.92). The Bisons return home on Friday night.