Feast or famine. That's the life of the Buffalo Bisons' offense.
After exploding for eight runs on Wednesday, the Herd was on the verge of their 14th shutout before scoring a run with two outs in the ninth. It wasn't enough as the Bisons dropped a 3-1 decision to the Durham Bulls at Coca-Cola Field.
More numbers: The Bisons have lost 38 of their last 50 games with 22 of the losses decided by two or fewer runs.
A hit, a walk and a homer: The Bulls took a 3-0 lead in the fourth on a three-run blast off the left field pole from Patrick Leonard. With one out, Jake Bauers singled then Johnny Field drew a walk, setting up Leonard for his eighth home run of the year.
Best scoring chance: The Bisons tried to manufacture a run in the first inning when Dwight Smith Jr. had a one-out double and moved to second on a single to right by Rob Refsnyder. Smith Jr. tried to tag up from third on a shallow fly out to right by Rowdy Tellez, but was easily thrown out at the plate.
You can't score if you don't hit: The Bisons had just four hits. Two of them came in the first then Mike Ohlman led off the fifth with a single. The Herd did get two other base runners via walk (Ohlman in the second) and hit-by-pitch (Jake Elmore in the sixth) but neither runner advanced. The Herd hit into two double plays, killing rally opportunities.
Rally: Smith Jr. had a two-out double in the ninth -- just the second time in the game, and first since the opening inning, the Bisons had a runner in scoring position. Smith Jr. scored on a single to left by Rob Refsnyder.
Refsnyder moved into scoring position, taking second on defensive indifference, but Rowdy Tellez flew out to center to end the game.
Offensive woes: Bisons manager Bobby Meacham continues to preach aggressiveness at the plate.
"Sometime we go up there and stay aggressive. Sometimes we back off. I thought we backed off a little bit in the middle innings and it gave them a little life," Meacham said.
"You know I think it's pretty simple. We're aggressive, we have success. If we're not, we won't. We can keep telling them. We'll keep telling them until we're done with words, but we just keep telling them every day, stay aggressive. Once we back off we're not very good."
That's the series: Thursday was the last meeting of the season between Durham and the Bisons. The Bulls took the season series, 5-2, and are now 37-41 all-time at Coca-Cola Field.
Up next: The Bisons open a three-game series with the Louisville Bats at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Lefty T.J. house is scheduled to start for the Herd against Louisville righty Rookie Davis. The series continues on Saturday (7:05 p.m.) and Sunday (1:05 p.m.).