Buffalo only enjoyed snapping its 10-game slide for one day before Rochester swept the Bisons in Monday's doubleheader.
The Herd relinquished a 3-0 lead in Game 1, surrendering four runs combined in the fifth and sixth innings, before falling 4-3. In Game 2, a rocky start from Cesar Valdez on the hill gave Rochester a lead it didn't relinquish in a 4-2 Red Wings win.
Despite returning from a seven-game road trip to the friendly confines of Coca-Cola Field, where the Herd came in 24-14 this season compared to 11-26 on the road, Buffalo couldn't hold off a hot Rochester team that is now 11-1 in its last 12 contests while the Bisons are 1-11 over that span.
Cornered: In both games, Buffalo put runners on the corners in the final inning. In Game 1, the Bisons did so with one out trailing by one. In Game 2, Buffalo put runners on first and third with no outs trailing by two. Both times, the hosts couldn't score even once, leaving four total runners on base in both seventh innings combined.
Lopes keeps roping, but he's hurt: Christian Lopes has now hit safely in nine of his last 11 games after a 1-for-3 showing at the plate in Game 1 on Monday, which included a fourth-inning RBI double that gave the Bisons a 3-0 lead. However, the left-fielder exited the game with two outs in the top of the sixth after injuring himself chasing Niko Goodrum's go-ahead RBI double down the left-field line.
He did not play in Game 2.
"We think right now it's just a day-to-day thing with his calf," Bisons manager Bobby Meacham said. "Just a strained calf, we think. We're not really positive. Tomorrow we'll know more."
Lopes' strong performance at the dish came on the heels of a three-hit barrage in Sunday's win at Syracuse, in which he hit two doubles, the latter of which tied the game at five in the top of the ninth before the Herd pulled away for a 7-5 win. In his last 14 games, Lopes is batting .419 (18-for-43) with eight doubles, a triple, a home run and six walks.
Shaky starts, and a pitcher injury scare: Luis Santos cruised through the first four innings, only allowing one hit while striking out three and walking none, before surrendering three runs as Rochester tied the game in the fifth. Matt Dermody replaced Santos (4 2/3 innings, four hits, three earned runs, one walk, five strikeouts) and escaped further damage in the fifth, but the left-hander allowed the Red Wings to take the lead in the sixth on Goodrum's double. Dermody threw a scoreless seventh but took his first loss on the season after coming in 5-0 over his first 24 appearances.
Valdez, who has six appearances combined between Oakland and Toronto in the majors this season, allowed four runs and 10 hits over seven innings in Game 2. Leonardo Reginatto tattooed a first-pitch home run over the left-field wall in the third off Valdez, which turned out to be the game-winning hit for the Red Wings.
From there, Valdez calmed down and even avoided an injury scare - John Ryan Murphy lined one off Valdez's left arm to start the sixth for an infield single, but he stayed in against Meacham's desires - while throwing a scoreless final four innings.
"It hit me really hard but it feels really good," Valdez said of his left arm. "Just trying to do my job...I got hit by the line drive but I just said, 'I'm gonna keep pitching.'
"(Meacham) tried to take me out of the game but I tell him that I feel good."
Support for Santos: By the end of the second inning in Game 1, Buffalo had already given Santos more run support (two runs) than in any of his 11 prior appearances this season. That stretch spanned 52 1/3 innings, 11 games in which Santos received only four total runs of support - one run in four separate games.
Granted, he was far from lights out on the mound over that time, posting a 4.47 earned run average while allowing 46 hits and nine home runs en route to a 2-7 record with two no-decisions, but the right-hander's bats rarely gave him room to breathe on the hill. The Bisons gave Santos three runs in his 4 2/3 innings on Monday, but it wasn't enough for Santos to be in line for the win when he exited.
A Blue Jay on rehab: Toronto Blue Jays rehabbing outfielder Ezequiel Carrera batted leadoff for the Bisons in Game 1 while he heals a fracture in his right foot after hitting a foul ball off it on June 13. The lefty didn't play the field and went 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI single in the second inning that gave the Bisons a 2-0 lead. He grounded out to the pitcher and drew two walks in his other at-bats while also stealing a base in the sixth inning. In 56 games with Toronto this season so far, Carrera hit .297 with five home runs, 15 RBIs and a .366 on-base percentage.
He did not play in Game 2, as Meacham said during his in-game interview in Game 1 that he only wanted to get Carrera three or four at-bats on the night.
"He looked really good," Meacham said. "Facing a lefty, which could be difficult...he did a great job of working the counts and getting on base. Swung the bat well also."
Getting Rowdy: After sitting the first game, Buffalo first baseman Rowdy Tellez went 4-for-4 in Game 2 with three singles and a double as a rare bright spot for the Bisons on the day. Tellez is still only batting .212 on the season, but he's now hit safely in four consecutive games he's played in while scoring three times and driving in three runs during that stretch.
Up next: Buffalo (35-42) hosts the Red Wings (40-34) at 7:05 Tuesday night. Lucas Harrell (0-0, 1.20) is on the hill for the Herd and Nik Turley (1-2, 3.49) pitches for Rochester.