An RBI single from Ryan Goins in the seventh inning broke a 5-5 tie and put the Buffalo Bisons on track for a 6-5 win over the Syracuse Chiefs Sunday.
The win was the third straight for the Herd and gives them eight wins in the last nine matchups with the Chiefs.
July recap: Winning the final three games of July helped the Herd avoid its first 20-loss month since August 1994 when they went 9-20 in their final full month with Pittsburgh. The 19 losses in July equal the most in any month as a Blue Jays affiliate (11-19, August 2015) and the most ever in July (12-19 in 2003 with Cleveland and 12-19 in 1985 with the White Sox).
Drama in the ninth: Two singles and a walk had the bases loaded with one out for the Chiefs against reliever Ryan Tepera in the ninth. Steve Lombardozzi popped up to Andy Burns in foul territory on the third base side and Jose Lozada grounded out back to Tepera to end the game.
Grand slam: It was a tricky start for righty Chris Leroux who gave up two walks and a single to load the bases for Matt Skole, who promptly crushed a ball to left field. That gave Syracuse a 4-0 lead in the top of the first.
Answering back: The Herd responded with three runs in the bottom of the first including a two-run home run by Darrell Ceciliani of Washington's top pitching prospect in Lucas Giolito. The Bisons then pulled ahead in the third. A single to right from Dom Brown tied the game. On the play, right fielder Caleb Ramsey was charged with both a fielding and a throwing error, allowing another run to score. When it all was done, the Herd had taken a 5-4 lead.
Allenson on the first inning: "That was obviously big right there," manager Gary Allenson said. "Facing their best pitching prospect and he probably wasn’t on his A game but we haven’t done that a lot. I think the nine-game losing streak is in the past. We’ve forgotten all about that. Leroux didn’t have his command early and got bit by a grand slam and to answer right away with Goins RBI double and Ceciliani's two-run homer to make it a one-run game. ... we had no momentum and then we were losing but it seemed like we were winning."
Unearned run: The Chiefs tied the game in the fourth on an unearned run, although it was Leroux who had the error, on a bad pick-off throw to first, which set up the run. The sacrifice to center from Jhonatan Solano made it a 5-5 game.
Fake throw: Andy Burns was the victim of a bit of deception. On first in the fourth, he dove back to the bag after a pick-off move from Syracuse starter Lucas Giolito. Burns was safe but first baseman Matt Skole faked the throw back to the mound, and tagged Burns when he came off the bag.
Hit streak: With his single in the third, Domonic Brown extended his hit streak to 16 games.
Top prospect: Syracuse starter Lucas Giolito was the No. 4 overall, No. 1 pitching, prospect on MLB.com's midseason list. In his outing Saturday, he took a no-decision, giving up five runs (four earned) on five hits in five innings. He walked four, struck out five and had one wild pitch.
Counting the house: There were 8,216 at Coca-Cola Field Sunday.
Up next: The Bisons have a scheduled off day on Monday then start a six-day, seven-game road trip. They play the Chiefs in Syracuse on Tuesday in a doubleheader.