The streak has ended.
The Buffalo Bisons nine-game winning streak came to a screeching halt Thursday night as the Herd dropped an 8-1 decision to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at Coca-Cola Field.
The Bisons kept the best hitting team in the International League off the board in the early innings with solid work from starter Roberto Hernandez and impressive defense, particularly a pair of catches from centerfielder Melky Mesa in the third.
But the big hits did in the Herd's pitching staff.
It started with a lead-off walk in the fifth. Hernandez walked former Bison Jonathan Diaz then he gave up his first hit of the game, a single up the left side of the diamond by Francisco Diaz. A strikeout later, Donovan Solano singled to center to score Jonathan Diaz and give the RailRiders a 1-0 lead.
The lead opened up to 5-0 when Ike Davis blasted a grand slam to left centerfield. Davis, who played 10 games for the Bisons in 2010 before making his Major League debut with the New York Mets, was playing his first game for the RailRiders after being designated for assignment by the New York Yankees.
In the eighth, Aaron Judge crushed a three-run double off reliever Colt Hynes as Scranton took a 8-0 lead.
What it means: The Bisons fell three games behind Scranton in the International League North Division. The RailRiders kept the top spot in the division, improving to 49-32. The Bisons slipped to 46-35.
On the loss: "We haven't played like this in a while," manager Gary Allenson said. "I can't remember the last time we had game where we didn't hit and we didn't pitch. It's one good thing about baseball -- you play it every day and forget about it and go out the next day. It's not like we've got to wait around a week."
Pitch count: Starter Roberto Hernandez threw 30 pitches in the first inning. He got out of early jams, but Allenson said sometimes that comes back to hurt you in later innings. "It didn't hurt him then but it hurt him later on," Bisons manager Gary Allenson said about the high pitch count Hernandez had in the first inning. "They didn't really hit him except for the grand slam, but he put himself in that situation. He gave up five walks and two hit batters. ... When you get in those situations and you have to work out of jams, sometimes you pay for it."
Bisons offense: The Herd managed just four base runners off Scranton starter Phil Coke -- two hits, one walk and an error. Only once did a runner get into scoring position off Coke -- Wilkin Castillo with a one-out double in the third. The Herd had a runner on third in with one out in the seventh, but a strike out and foul pop-up to first kept the Bisons off the scoreboard.
On the board: The Bisons avoided their seventh shut out of the season when Andy Burns drove a two-out solo home run to left field. It was his fifth homer of the year.
Ticket count: There are just over 4,000 tickets left for Sunday night's annual Independence Eve Celebration with a limited number of BPO 4-packs. Friday is the last day to buy a BPO 4-pack which includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four soft drinks and 25 percent off the Bisons gift shops.
Attendance: There were 7.477 at Coca-Cola Field Thursday night.
Roster moves: The Toronto Blue Jays activated pitcher Brett Cecil from his Major League Baseball injury rehab and reliever Ryan Tepera was returned to the Herd. To make room for Tepera, right-handed pitcher Chad Jenkins was released.
Up next: The Herd and Scranton square off again Friday night (7:05 p.m.) with lefty John Anderson (1-1, 5.82) starting for Buffalo against righty Diego Moreno (3-1, 6.03).