The Buffalo Bisons’ International League season ended in style Monday – hitting into a game-ending double play.
A 4-2 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I. brought down the curtain on one of the most disappointing seasons in recent franchise history.
The Herd had a 46-34 record as they were about to begin a home stand on June 30. The collapse began almost immediately. Since then the Bisons posted a 20-44 record (.313). They closed the season with seven straight losses, 16 in the last 19 games.
The 66 victories was the Bisons’ lowest win total since they were 61-82 in 2011. The road-win total (32 in 72 games) is the lowest since the 26-45 mark posted by the 2011 Herd.
Manager Gary Allenson had to deal with a constantly revolving roster.
The Bisons had 204 players moves in 2016. Fifty-six players appeared in a game for the Herd.
Early sudden death: Bryce Brentz hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to give the home team a lead and the Bisons trailed the rest of the way. Pawtucket added a single run in the bottom of the fourth when Allen Craig walked, Dan Butler singled him to third and Mike Miller sent him home with a sacrifice fly to left.
Creeping back: The Bisons got a run in the fourth to make it 3-1 when David Adams walked with the bases loaded. The other run was helped by the Red Sox, as well. Jio Mier doubled with one out in the seventh and scored when shortstop Jose Vinicio booted a ground ball by Andy Burns.
Seeing double: The Bisons had the tying run at the plate with one out in the eight, but Adams grounded into a double play to end the threat. In the ninth Mier, who had three of the seven Buffalo hits, singled with one out but was erased when Quintin Berry grounded into game-ending double play. That raised the Bisons’ season total of double plays hit into to 160, more than any team in affiliated baseball.
No Montero: Jesus Montero was not in the Buffalo lineup against Pawtucket lefty Henry Owens (10-7) so he finished the season with a .317 batting average (fourth in the league) and 155 hits (second in the league. His hit total was sixth most in the Bisons’ modern era.
Henry O: Owens, once considered the top pitching prospect in the Boston organization, struck out five, walked three and allowed four hits in 6.2 innings.
Polishing Diamonds: Lefty Scott Diamond (9-15) took the loss for Buffalo in his league-high 28th start. Diamond led the Bisons in wins (9), innings pitched (166), and ERA (4.50).
Next up: The Bisons are scheduled to open the 2017 season at Coca-Cola Field on Thursday, April 6 against the defending I.L. North Division champion Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.