The Buffalo Bisons' 3-2 victory Monday over the Chiefs in Syracuse was another Roemon Fields production.
Fields, Buffalo's Most Valuable Player in 2017, singled, stole second (his International League leading 43rd of the season) and came home on a single by Dwight Smith Jr. in the seventh inning to give the Herd the victory in their season finale before 6,564 in the Chiefs Fan Appreciation Day at NBT Bank Stadium.
Earlier Fields scored the tying run for the Bisons.
Jared Carkuff, pitching in his first Triple-A game after stops in three lower leagues this season, picked up the victory in relief of starter T.J. House. The former Austin Peay University right-hander allowed one hit and a walk in 3.1 innings of shutout ball. Overall, Carkuff is 3-4 for the season in 34 appearances strictly as a reliever at Dunedin, Vancouver, Lansing and Buffalo.
Mike Bolsinger picked up his first save pitching a scoreless ninth, but it was a bit tainted. Bolsinger gave two-out double to Jhonatan Solano and a single to Irving Falu, but was saved when rookie left fielder Anthony Alford gunned down Solano at the plate for the final out of the game.
Junior Produces: Smith Jr. drove in two of the Bisons runs. His double to right in the fifth inning sent home Fields, who had reached second on a throwing error by pitcher John Simms on a pickoff attempt.
That tied the game at 2-all. The first Buffalo run came in the fourth when Alford led off with a double and scored on a single by Danny Jansen.
Early trouble: Syracuse took a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run homer by Neftali Soto, his 14th of the season.
Toting it up: The Bisons finished the season 65-76 21 games behind the I.L. North Division champion Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders (86-55, and a league-leading .610 percentage). Buffalo finished last (14th) in the league with a .247 team batting average and had the fewest home runs (78) and was next-to-last with 544 runs. The Bisons were fifth in team pitching with a 3.58 earned-run average even though they did not have a 10-game winner on the staff.
I.L. Leaders: Tyler Wade of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was league batting champion. At .310 he was the only .300 hitter in the league who was eligible for the title. Bryce Brentz of the Pawtucket Red Sox led in home runs with 31. Rhys Hoskins of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs was the RBI champion with 91.Pitching leaders were Steven Brault of the Indianapolis Indians with a 1.94 ERA for 120.1 innings. Aaron Slagers of the Rochester Red Wings led with a 15-4 won-lost mark.
Playoff picture: Once again the Bisons are out. So is Rochester. Despite winning their final game, 10-1, over Pawtucket on Sunday at Frontier Field and tying Lehigh Valley in the I.L. wild-card standings (80-62), the Red Wings lost the tie-breaker to the IronPigs for the playoff berth. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will face Lehigh Valley in one best of-five semifinal and South Division winner Durham will meet West Division champion Indianapolis in the other starting on Wednesday.