It was all the little things that went wrong for the Buffalo Bisons on Thursday. The six walks issued by the pitching staff. The four errors in the field. The 0-for-7 by hitters with runners in scoring position.
Add it all together and the Herd didn't do enough after the 10:36 first pitch at Coca-Cola Field, dropping a 5-2 decision to the Toledo Mud Hens on the annual School Kids Day.
"That's the way it goes," Bisons manager Bobby Meacham said. "We made a few mistakes on defense that hurt us and a couple extra walks that we usually don't see out of our guys. It's just one of those games where we have to come back tomorrow and see if we can do better."
Taking advantage: First, it was the Herd taking advantage of pair of Toledo errors in the second inning. Ian Parmley and Christian Lopes both reached on infield errors. A sacrifice fly to right by Shane Opitz scored Parmley and the Bisons took a 1-0 lead.
The danger of walks: A one-out walk in the third came around to score after back-to-back hits. Brendan Ryan scored on a single from Argenis Diaz in the third, tying the game, 1-1. In the fifth, Bisons starter Brett Oberholtzer again issued two walks, along with two hits. Aided by an error, the Mud Hens were able to plate two more, taking a 3-1 lead.
Getting one back: Roemon Fields led off the fifth with a triple then scored on a one-out sac fly to deep left from Rowdy Tellez to cut Toledo's lead to 3-2.
Clutch hits. "They got them and we didn't," Meacham said.
"We got some runners on throughout the game and just weren't able to get that big hit to kind of take a lead and get a little breathing room in that game," said Bison infielder Jason Leblebijian.
Leblebijian had three hits, including one in the sixth that put runners on first and second with no outs. But the bottom third of the order, which had been producing for the Herd, had two short fly outs and a ground out to strand the runners.
Rare home loss: The Bisons are now 19-9 at Coca-Cola Field.
More trends: Big offense is what has been producing wins for the Herd this season. The Bisons are now 4-14 in games where they score three or fewer runs. They are 24-9 when scoring four or more runs.
Taking a day: Dwight Smith Jr. was in the original lineup posted by the Buffalo Bisons, but the outfielder was pulled before the game. Smith Jr. took a hard body hit when he crashed into the right field wall late in Wednesday's game.
"I think he's OK," Meacham said. "We scratched him late. He was in the lineup until very late there before the game started and we had to scratch him. But supposedly it's day to day. He should be fine. I think he's going to be OK for tomorrow.
School Kids Day: Since the downtown ballpark opened in 1988, the Buffalo Bisons have hosted at least one morning game bringing in school kids from Western New York and Southern Ontario. Over a half-million kids have attended the games which in some seasons included multiple School Kids Day events. Since 1998 the Bisons are 12-7 in these games at Coca-Cola Field.
"The game was packed. It's always good to have them come out and watch us play," Leblebijian said. "Even though it is really, really early."
Attendance: Thanks to the School Kids Day it was a nearly-full ballpark. The announced paid attendance 16,074.
Up next: The Bisons open a three-game series with the Charlotte Knights at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Righty Jarrett Grube is scheduled to start for the Bisons against Charlotte righty Carson Fulmer. Fulmer is the sixth-rated prospect in the Chicago White Sox organization.