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Bisons head into All-Star break with extra-inning loss

PAWTUCKET, R.I. --  The Buffalo Bisons closed one of the most brutal stretches in their franchise history, Sunday with a 2-1 loss in 11 innings to the Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy Stadium.

The loss as the Bisons' 29th in their last 36 games with 17 of those losses by two runs or less. On June 4, the Bisons were eight games over .500 at 31-23. They stand at 38-52 now.

Only once since June 4 has the Herd been able to win two games in a row. was in home wins over Lehigh Valley June 14-15.

Sunday, the Bisons were fortunate the game lasted as long as it did. After Buffalo tied the game at 1-1 in the seventh inning, Pawtucket had seven hits and left seven on base before finally scoring against reliever Chris Smith in the bottom of the 11th on a leadoff double by Ryan Court, a sacrifice, intentional walk and finally a fly-ball single to left by Jantzen Witte against a drawn in outfield. Pawtucket left the bases loaded in the eighth when Bryce Brentz lined out to center. A double play ended a Pawtucket threat in the seventh.

Oberholtzer better: Buffalo starter Brett Oberholtzer pitched six effective innings allowing four hits and one run after five straight disastrous starters when he allowed 44 hits and 25 earned runs over 20 innings. The no-decision left the 27-year-old left with a 1-6 record.

Losing close: The Bisons are 1-4 in extra-inning games and 7-2o in one-run games. Their road record is 12-31 after losing five of the six games at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Pawtucket.

Good test for Rodriguez: Pawtucket starter Eduardo Rodriguez, completing a rehab assignment from the Boston Red Sox, looked ready to return to the big league rotation. He was allowed to go 6.2 innings, striking out seven with no walks. He threw 60 strikes in 94 pitches before departing after Buffalo tied the game in the seventh on a leadoff double by Gregorio Petit and a RBI single by Iam Parmley. That finished Rodriguez, who was relieved by Brandon Workman. Michael Saunders and Jason Leblijian then struck out to end the rally.

Welcome: David Jacob, promoted from the Gulf Coast League made his Bisons debut as the designated hitter. He was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Shortstop Otto Lopez also was promoted from the GCL while right-hander Griffin Glaude was sent back to Lansing in the Midwest League.

Time to chill: The Bisons could use some relaxation. They will be off until they meet the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Thursday night at Coca-Cola Field in the opener of a four-game series. The RRiders (55-34) hold a half-game lead over Lehigh Valley (55-35) in the North Division of the International League after losing two of three to the Iron Pigs over the weekend.  Thursday will be Darryl Talley Bobblehead Night at the downtown ballpark.


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