Buffalo Bisons starting pitcher Scott Diamond gave his team another solid outing in vain Friday night.
Diamond allowed only one run over seven innings but the Bisons lost a 5-0 decision to the Syracuse Chiefs.
The loss was the fourth straight for the Bisons and dropped them 6 1-2 games behind the Chiefs in the International League’s North Division. Buffalo is last in the IL North.
Syracuse broke the game open on a three-run home run by Matt Skole off reliever Pat Venditte in the eighth inning. Skole golfed the ball down the right-field line and out of Coca-Cola Field.
Records: Syracuse improved to 17-10. Buffalo is 11-17.
Anemic: The Bisons managed just two hits. They advanced just one runner into scoring position. That was A.J. Jiminez, who reached on a fielder’s choice and got to second with one out in the fifth. But Jio Mier grounded into a double play to end the threat. Buffalo has scored three or fewer runs in 18 of 28 games. Syracuse retired 14 Bisons batters in a row to end the game.
“Except for last night when we scored six runs, we’re just not swinging the bats very well,” said Bisons manager Gary Allenson.
Not at fault: Diamond scattered seven hits and walked none but fell to 2-3. The 29-year-old has allowed one or fewer runs in four of his six starts this season. The change-up has been his best pitch but he was pleased with his curve ball, which he has worked on with pitching coach Bob Stanley.
“Stanley and I have kind of been addressing my curveball a lot the past couple weeks,” Diamond said. “We were really trying to get on top of it and almost throw it harder. It seemed like a pitch that had a lot of effectiveness for me tonight. I didn’t get a ton of punch outs on it, but I was able to get a lot of quick strikes and some outs with it. I have to be happy with that.”
MLB debut: Bisons infielder Andy Burns was called up to Toronto Friday for the first major-league promotion of his career. Burns, 25, was batting .250 for the Bisons and was tied for first in the International League with nine doubles. He was hitting .350 over the past five games. He gives the Blue Jays versatility. For the Herd this season, he started nine games at second, five at third, three at shortstop, nine in left field and one in right field. Burns hit .293 last year in Buffalo in his first full season in Triple-A. To make room for Burns, the Blue Jays optioned Ryan Tepera to Buffalo. Tepera, 28, allowed two runs in two appearances with Toronto. Tepera has made 80 appearances for the Bisons over the past two-plus seasons. By demoting Tepara the Jays are back to a seven-man bullpen.
Run saver: Mier, the Bisons’ shortstop, saved a run in the second inning with a fine diving stop of a one-hop, hot grounder up the middle off the bat of Brian Goodwin. It was a single, but the man on second, Turner, was forced to hold at third. The Bisons then got a double play to end the inning.
Fast starters: The North Division-leading Chiefs have picked up where they left off last season. Since mid-June last season, Syracuse is 62-45 (.579). Syracuse is 8-3 in one-run games this season.
Counting the house: Paid attendance was 8,151 at Coca-Cola Field.
Up next: The Bisons meet the Chiefs at 1:05 p.m. Saturday. It’s Dog Day at the ballpark. Dogs get in free. Fans with dogs should enter through the centerfield gate. There is a dog parade at 12:15 p.m.