Even with the meat of its order batting in the bottom of the ninth, Buffalo again couldn't break through in a close game. In this one, the Bisons' third straight loss upon returning to Coca-Cola Field on Monday, the hosts had another fighting chance despite recording 10 fewer hits than Rochester.
For the third consecutive game while trailing by one or two runs, Buffalo put two runners on with one or fewer outs in the bottom of the last inning. Yet for the third straight game, the Red Wings stayed hot and the Herd stayed not, with the Red Wings prevailing, 3-2.
Rochester is now 12-1 in its last 13 games and Buffalo is 1-13 in its last 14. The Bisons, at 35-43 overall, have now lost 21 games in the month of June. That ties the program's modern-era record for most losses in a month, dating back to August 1986 and 1988, months in which Buffalo went 15-21 and 12-21, respectively.
Game of inches: After Monday night's doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Red Wings, Buffalo manager Bobby Meacham lamented over the "one hit, one pitch, one little break" his team hasn't been getting. Two instances in the latter half of Tuesday's game couldn't have illustrated Meacham's point better.
With the game tied at two in the fifth, Jon Berti drilled a ball down the first-base line, only to have Matt Hague snag the liner and tag first for an inning-ending out. If the ball had gotten by Hague, Buffalo would've taken a 3-2 lead. In the seventh, Rochester's ByungHo Park lined a single mere centimeters over the outstretched left arm of shortstop Gregorio Petit. The hit gave the visitors a 3-2 lead, all it would need in the end. Two close plays that went Rochester's way, in line with Meacham's reason for his team's dreadful last 14 games, once again doomed the Bisons.
"It's the same old story from yesterday," Meacham said. "Shoot, we got 'em early. We got those inches our way the other way early...the guys just got to keep going, just like they're playing, man. I'm frustrated for them."
Letting go: Jake Elmore has sent his bat flying more times (three) in the last three games than he has gotten a hit (two). Elmore let go of the wood once during Monday's doubleheader and twice on Tuesday night. The second time his lumber took flight during Buffalo's 3-2 loss on Tuesday, it almost hit Rochester manager Mike Quade before he ducked into the dugout to avoid harm. Elmore is 2-for-8 since the Bisons returned home from their seven-game road trip to Rochester and Syracuse.
Read what Elmore had to say about the dilemma after the game. There's actually an interesting reason why he claimed it happened.
On the hill: Lucas Harrell allowed five hits in the first two innings, but the Red Wings only managed one run off them. The right-hander hadn't factored in a decision over his three appearances for Buffalo this season, but he got the loss Tuesday after exiting a tie game with Mitch Garver on second when Garver later scored on Park's single. Harrell threw 6 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking three while allowing three earned runs and 10 hits.
Harrell was relieved by Murphy Smith, who threw 1 2/3 innings of two-hit, one-strikeout ball. He gave way to Wil Browning, who threw a scoreless ninth to give Buffalo one last chance it couldn't capitalize on.
Going yard: Rowdy Tellez's second-inning solo shot traveled about 410 feet, almost reaching the pavement well beyond the 367-foot marker on the right-center field wall. Tellez has now hit safely in five straight games, following up Monday's 4-for-4 showing in Game 2 of the doubleheader with a 1-for-4 performance on Tuesday. He's hit two home runs in his last five games after hitting only two in his 59 contests following a two-homer showing on Opening Day. Tellez's average still sits at a meager .212, but the big lefty is starting to find his groove at the plate.
"Just staying with my approach, just trying to do what's best and help out. Just got a pitch I could handle," Tellez said. "...We need to get wins, so this isn't about me. It's about playing well for the team and doing what's best."
🎥: Rowdy's 2nd inning solo-homer 💪👀. pic.twitter.com/NCoSj9VVgL
— Buffalo Bisons (@BuffaloBisons) June 27, 2017
Lopes still out: After injuring his calf chasing down a ball in left field during Game 1 on Monday night, Christian Lopes didn't play in Game 2 of the doubleheader or on Tuesday. An update from Meacham on Lopes, who is hitting .418 (18-for-43) in his last 14 games with eight doubles, a triple and a home run:
"He's a little sore, but he went to get X-rays and all that jazz just to make sure he's OK," Meacham said. "It's just going to be a matter of when he can get that soreness out of there and he gets the swelling down. He should be fine."
Up next: The two teams will play Game 4 of their five-game series Wednesday night at 7:05. Dillon Gee (no appearances) throws for the Red Wings and Mike Bolsinger (2-2, 2.10) pitches for the Bisons.