ROCHESTER -- A little more than two weeks ago the Buffalo Bisons were a season-high eight games over .500 at 31-23. For the first time this season the Herd was under the .500 mark (34-35) when it took on the Rochester Red Wings before 4,323 at Frontier field on Tuesday.
A big reason for the dropoff is the lack of run production. Buffalo scored 32 runs in the 16 games before Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Wing, the Herd’s sixth in a row. Two runs a game? That’s bad enough. In the last 39 innings before Tuesday night, Buffalo was outscored, 27-3.
The Bisons went into the game with a .251 team batting average, 11th out of 14 teams in the International League. They were last in home runs and next to last in total bases.
No more doughnut: The Bisons did manage to end their 25-inning scoreless streak when Christian Lopes hit a one-out homer to left field with the bases empty in the third inning. By then, however, the Wings owned a 3-0 lead.
Flying start: The Wings got fast for the second night in a row, scoring three times against Bisons starter T.J. House in the first inning. Rochester had four hits in the inning including a ground-rule double by Mitch Garver that produced a run. Garver scored on a double by ByungHo Park. John Ryan Murphy’s sacrifice fly brought home the third run of the inning.
Explosion: Two runs is a huge inning for Buffalo these days. The Herd struck for two runs in the sixth and knocked Rochester starter Aaron Siegers out of the game. Raffy Lopez started the rally with a one-out walk. Jason Leblebijian singled and Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked to fill the bases. One run crossed on a fielder’s-choice grounder by Jake Elmore. The second on single by Shane Opitz that ended Siegers’ night.
Coming up short: After closing to 4-3, the Bisons had the tying run on base in the seventh and ninth innings, but could not get it across the plate.
Grube gone: Among the flurry of roster moves made by the Blue Jays organization over the weekend was a trade of right-hand starter Jarrett Grube to the Cleveland Indians organization for cash considerations. Grube, 35, was the starter and winner for the Herd in their Opening Day victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was 2-3 with a 6.14 ERA in 11 starts with Buffalo.
Up next: The three-game series will wrap up with a 1:35 game today (Radio 1520). Cesar Valdez will start for Buffalo against leftY Hector Santiago of the Wings. The Bisons move on to Syracuse for the start of a four-game series on Thursday.