Buffalo's losing streak reached eight games in miserable fashion Thursday night against Syracuse, as an Irving Falu walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth gave the Chiefs the victory.
The Bisons fell to 10-24 on the road this season, twice surrendering leads in the last two innings. Bobby Meacham's squad was swept in the two series before heading to Syracuse, dropping seven games combined against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Rochester, and the misery continued Thursday night with a late dagger dooming Buffalo one out away from game's end.
Bullpen woes: Wil Browning and Chris Smith allowed a combined five runs in the final two and two thirds innings. Browning surrendered three in the eighth as Syracuse tied the game at five, and Smith gave up two on Falu's home run in the ninth to take the loss after Christian Lopes' sacrifice fly in the top of the inning briefly gave Buffalo a 6-5 lead. The lackluster showing from the Bisons relievers - minus Matt Dermody, who threw a scoreless sixth inning - wasted a game Buffalo had in its grasp.
Spreading the wealth: If there's any positive Buffalo can take from Thursday's loss, it's the fact that eight different players recorded hits. Only Ian Parmley, who batted just once, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (four at-bats) didn't record a hit, while Gregorio Petit, Shane Opitz and Roemon Fields each recorded a pair for the visitors.
Big guns: Three Syracuse hitters combined for 10 hits against the Bisons, inflicting most of the damage on a struggling Buffalo staff. Adrian Sanchez went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, Clint Robinson went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and two walks and Falu slammed four hits, his fourth ending the game and giving him both of his RBIs on the night.
Starting somewhere: Bisons starter Lucas Harrell was a bright spot for the visitors on the mound Thursday, tossing an efficient five innings while allowing only two earned runs despite surrendering six hits and walking three. It was Harrell's third straight start in which he's thrown five innings and allowed two earned runs or fewer.
Up next: The two teams will play Friday night at 7:05 in Syracuse, as the Bisons again try to snap a losing streak that is nearing double digits. Mike Bolsinger (2-2, 2.29 ERA) will start on the mound for Buffalo, while Jaron Long (0-1, 4.50) throws for Syracuse.