SYRACUSE – The Buffalo Bisons’ losing streak reached 10 games Saturday night, tying their franchise modern-era record.
The Syracuse Chiefs scored a run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win, 6-5, at Syracuse’s NBT Bank Stadium. Buffalo’s skid is the longest since a 10-game losing streak in 1994. Those are the two worst for the Herd since 1979.
Buffalo (34-40) suffered its 17th loss in the last 20 games and lost for the 14th time in its last 15 road games. The Herd is 10-26 overall on the road. It has been outscored, 49-19, in the last 10 games.
Bad start: Bisons starting pitcher Brett Oberholtzer suffered through his third straight bad start and didnt make it out of the second inning. Oberholtzer couldn’t get an out in the second, yielding three runs on five singles and a walk before being yanked. Oberholtzer played 37 games in the majors last season with the Phillies and Angels. In his last three starts, Oberholtzer has allowed 28 hits and 16 earned runs. That’s over just 7 2-3 innings. In all Saturday, he allowed eight of 11 batters faced to reach base.
Losing pitcher: John Stilson (0-4) walked the lead-off batter in the ninth, then gave up a single, an intentional walk and a single to end the game.
Hot Lopez: Bisons catcher Raffy Lopez did his best to pull the Bisons out of their slump. He hit two home runs, a three-run blast in the third to tie the game (3-3) and a solo shot in the sixth to put Buffalo ahead (4-3). Lopez has nine homers in 32 games with Buffalo this season. In 176 Triple-A games before this season, Lopez hit just three home runs. His 13 total homers for the season are a career high. His previous full-season high was eight home runs.
Good outing: Chris Rowley was called from the bullpen to replace Oberholtzer and kept the Bisons in the game. Called up from Double-A five days ago, he allowed two runs on three hits in 4 2-3 innings.
Up next: The Bisons and Chiefs conclude their series at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. T.J. House (6-6, 3.70) is scheduled to start for the Bisons against a to-be-determined Syracuse pitcher.
Coming home: The Bisons return to Coca-Cola Field Monday for a doubleheader against Rochester starting at 5:35 p.m. Buffalo is home for eight days, through July 3.