When the Buffalo Bisons' 10-game losing streak finally ended on Sunday at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, it was no surprise that Roemon Fields and Christian Lopes had a hand in it. They have been two of the Herd's hottest hitters lately, despite all the losses.
Fields and Lopes figured in the Bisons' three-run rally in the top of the ninth that produced a 7-5 victory over the Syracuse Chiefs in the finale of a four-game series between the International League teams and the end of the Herd's seven-game road trip down the Thruway.
Gregorio Petit triggered the inning with a leadoff double. Fields kept the rally going with a single and Lopes doubled home Petit with the tying run. The first hit as a Bison by Jon Berti scored Fields and Lopes with the deciding runs.
Fields on fire: The Bisons center fielder tripled in the second inning to send home the first Bisons run and had a single to lead off the Herd's fourth. He was 3 for 4 in the game batting in the No. 9 spot. He drove the Chiefs crazy in the series with seven hits in 11 at-bats and two RBIs. He's raised his batting average to .338.
Lopes, too: The Buffalo infielder has 17 hits in his last 40 at-bats after going 3 for 5 from the leadoff spot on Sunday. Of the 17 hits, nine went for extra bases, including seven doubles, a triple and a home run. Lopez has reached base in 17 straight games. Over his last 24 games, Lopes is batting .397 (29 hits in 73 at-bats, including eight doubles, a triple, two home runs, 10 RBIs and 11 bases on balls.
Bouncing back: Their early 4-0 lead become a 5-4 deficit after five innings, but the Bisons were able to come back with a big assist from their bullpen. After Syracuse took its lead with a single run in the fifth, the Chiefs had only one base runner the rest of the way. Starter T.J. House had a 1-2-3 sixth to finish his stint before John Stilson, Glenn Sparkman and Chris Smith each pitched a scoreless inning the rest of the way. The only Syracuse base runner was Andrew Stevenson with one out in the ninth. He struck out but reached on Smith's wild pitch before the Herd's closer got the final two outs for his fourth save.
Sweet home: After going 0-3 in Rochester and 1-3 in Syracuse on the road trip that extended their losing streak to 10, tying the franchise's modern era record, the Bisons will come home to Coca-Cola Field on Monday night to open a nine-game homestand that will last through the traditional Independence Day Eve extravaganza on July 3. The Bisons are 11-26 on the road and 24-14 at home this season.
The Herd will play two games against the Rochester Red Wings on Monday, starting at 5:35 p.m. The second game is a makeup of a game postponed from May 4. Right-handers Cesar Valdez (3-1, 3.67) and Luis Santos (2-7, 4.47) are the scheduled starters for the Bisons in the twin bill with lefty David Hurlbut (4-3, 3.36) and right-hander Aaron Slegers (6-4, 4.11) slated for the Wings. The teams will meet Tuesday and Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon before Syracuse comes in for four games.