Three Durham home runs produced half of the Bulls’ runs while the Buffalo Bisons could manage only four hits in an 8-1 loss in the opener of a three-game International League series Monday night before 3,472 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in North Carolina.
Out of gas: Bisons starter Joe Biagini kept his team in the geme for five innings, but seemed to run out of gas in the sixth. He gave up a leadoff homer to left by Brandon Snyder. A base hit by Andrew Velazquez followed and one out later, Biagini departed, having thrown 96 pitches. Sam Moll relieved and after hitting a batter yielded a two-run triple to Willy Adames.
More long ball: Durham scored three more in the eighth. The rally included back-to-back home runs by Jake Bauers and Adames.
Left stranded: The Bisons had trouble putting hits together. They had runners on base in seven of the nine inning and left a runner in each of those frames.
Stingy Bulls: Durham starter Forrest Snow, a 6-foot-6 right-hander who pitched at the University of Washington, gave the Bisons only two hits and struck out nine in six innings. Ryan Weber shut out the Herd the rest of the way. The Bisons’ run in the sixth came without a hit.
Fanning the air: With another double-digit strikeout total (10), the Bisons are averaging 9.8 a game as a team. Columbus leads the league with 188 Ks in 16 games, an average of 11.75.
Lopes connects: Rookie infielder Tim Lopes, who is batting .440, was 1 for 3 with a leadoff double in the third for Buffalo’s only extra-base hit. Lopes was caught attempting to steal third for the second out of the third with Anthony Alford at bat. Alford then struck out swinging for the third out.
Up next: Lefty Ryan Borucki (0-2, 6.23) is the scheduled starter for the Bisons in the second game of the series tonight (Radio 1520, 7:05 p.m.) against right-hander Jose Mujica (1-1, 4.61). The season finale will be Wednesday morning (Radio 1520, 10:35 a.m.). After a day off, the Herd will open a three-game series against Pawtucket at Coca-Cola Field on Friday night. It’s only a three-game home stand.