The Buffalo Bisons lost for the fourth time in their last five games, this time dropping an 11-8 decision to the Norfolk Tides at Coca-Cola Field on Monday night.
The game was blown open in the eighth on a grand slam by Dariel Alvarez.
The play was set up after a contested play at third base. With runners on the corners, L.J. Hoes’ hit went back to the mound and pitcher Pat Venditte threw the ball to catcher Tony Sanchez as Francisco Pena broke for home from third.
Sanchez chased him back to third and tossed the ball to third baseman Matt Dominguez, but Pena got back to the bag before the tag and was safe. Alvarez was the next batter and hit the homer to left field.
The Herd had its offense clicking, scoring eight runs on 15 hits although they stranded 10 runners and went 4 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Allenson on the game: “Once again the hitters were real good. … The bright spot is we’re down 6-2, it’s not looking like we’re going to do much,” manager Gary Allenson said.
“As you heard me say many times before, it involves all three – pitching, hitting and defense. We didn’t quite get it tonight.”
Falling behind: The Herd fell behind, 1-0, in the first as Norfolk’s designated hitter, Christian Walker, had a two-out RBI double. The Bisons are now 16-37 when the opposition scores first.
Welcome back, Chris: Chris Colabello, with the Herd on a Major League Baseball assignment, belted a two-out solo home run to left-center field in the first. Colabello drew a walk in the second, struck out in the fourth and sixth and had an RBI single in the eighth.
Tough night for Hutch: It had been 11 days since Drew Hutchison pitched and the layoff combined with an apparent blister made for a tough outing. Hutchison, who reportedly had a blister on his pitching thumb, gave up six runs on eight hits in 2∏ innings.
Bases loaded: The Herd loaded the bases with one out in the second thanks to back-to-back singles by Darrell Ceciliani and Domonic Brown and a walk to Tony Sanchez but managed just one run. Alexi Casilla struck out before Dalton Pompey drew a full-count walk to score a run. Ryan Goins grounded out to second to end the inning.
Inching back: Casilla beat the tag at home on a single from Goins in the fourth to make it 6-3.
Bring back the bunt: The Bisons got a pair of runs in the sixth thanks to a two-run double off the left-field wall by Goins. That was the highlight, but it was savvy at-bats by Casilla and Pompey, who laid down bunts on consecutive pitches with two outs to get on base.
Home run leader: Dominguez had a solo shot to left in the seventh to take the Bisons’ team lead in home runs with 12.
More on Goins: The second baseman went 2 for 5 with an RBI single in the fourth and the two-run double in the sixth. He continues his MLB rehabilitation assignment for a forearm strain.
Bang for your buck: The Bisons were deemed the most affordable outing in Triple-A baseball in a 2016 survey conducted by Minor League Baseball.
The survey was based on a typical family of four experience – two adult tickets, two child tickets, two beers, two sodas and four hot dogs. The average for that package was $70.68 across the 30 Triple-A teams and was just $68 for Bisons games at Coca-Cola Field.
Counting the house: There were 6,211 at Coca-Cola Field on Monday night.
Up next: The series continues at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday with right-hander Wilmer Font (0-2, 7.45) scheduled to start for the Bisons against righty Mike Wright (1-1, 2.10).