The Buffalo Bisons’ bats certainly are not en fuego as they return from a season-opening seven-game road trip for Thursday’s home opener at Coca-Cola Field.
A cold performance in Wednesday’s 3-2, 13-inning loss to the Chiefs at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse left the Herd batting a collective .212, 11th in the International League.
Wednesday’s loss wasted a clutch pitching performance by four Bisons relievers after starter Drew Hutchison pitched hitless ball for 4.1 innings. Syracuse left 15 runners on base, not counting the two remaining when Scott Sizemore singled over the head of left fielder Alexi Casilla to drive home the winning run in the bottom of the 13th.
Hutch finds groove: The Chiefs scored a run against Hutchison in the first inning when Jason Martinson was hit by a pitch after three walks had filled the bases. The 25-year-old right-hander struck out Nate Freiman and got Brian Goodwin to foul out then retired 12 of the next 13 batters before he was relieved by Pat McCoy with one out in the fourth after throwing 88 pitches.
Herd’s big inning: It also was the only scoring inning for Buffalo. Two runs in the top of the eighth – one crossing on an error, the other on a sacrifice fly by Domonic Brown – put Buffalo in front, 2-1.
Martinson’s revenge: The Syracuse infielder tied it at 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth when he drove a Ryan Tepera pitch over the wall in left.
Tepera escaped further damage in that inning when he got Caleb Ramsey to ground out with runners at first and third.
Rowen escapes: Bisons reliever Ben Rowen came on with the bases full and two out in the bottom of the 12th and retired Pedro Severino on a fly ball to right. He was not so fortunate in the 13th when Ramsey led off with a double and Trea Turner reached on a bunt single. After Tony Campana bunted into a force out at third, Sizemore singled home the winner.
Next: Lefty Scott Diamond (1-0, 1.80) will get the Opening Day start for the Bisons Thursday (Radio 1520 AM, 2:05 p.m.) against another lefty, Pat Dean (0-1, 3.60) of the Rochester Red Wings in the first of a two-game series and four-game homestand.