Pitching, which has produced the International League's 13th worst team earned-run average and has given up 19 home runs, is the main factor in the Buffalo Bisons' seven-game losing streak.
The Herd's string of losses continued Sunday in a 9-5 loss to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders before 3,068 at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa. Buffalo is 2-8 in the young IL season tied for last place with Rochester in the North Division, six games behind the first-place Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Ryan McBroom, Kellin Declan and IL home run and RBI leader Mike Ford hit homers for the RailRiders, who took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth inning . In that frame, Broom and Declan homered against Bisons starter David Paulino. Ford's two-run blast in the fifth made it 7-2. All four of Ford's home runs this season have come against Buffalo.
Bleak picture: Paulino, making his second start for Buffalo, gave up five runs on in 3.2 innings. Relievers Ryan Tepera, on rehab from Toronto, and Corey Copping each gave up two runs. Dusty Isaacs went two innings and did not allow a run for the fourth straight appearance. Eleven of the 25 outs Isaacs has recorded have been by strikeouts, including three on Sunday.
Vlad Back: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was back in the lineup at third base on Sunday and had three singles in Buffalo's 13-hit attack. Guerrero singled with two outs in the first and scored on Patrick Cantwell's single. Guerrero had a leadoff single in the third, grounded into a double play in the fifth and singled home the third of three Bisons' runs in the seventh.
Immediate help: Infield Richard Urena made his 2019 debut with the Bisons and contributed a two-run triple after singles by Roemon Fields and Bo Bichette in the seventh.
Bison bats: Buffalo is batting .260 as a team, seventh in the IL, but Herd batters have struck out 93 times. Infielder Gunnar Heidt is tied for second in the league with 17 strikeouts. Heidt has only 22 at-bats this season. Buffalo hit into two double plays on Sunday and had a runner thrown out at the plate.
Gio-graphy: Lefty Gio Gonzalez (2-1) pitched five innings to gain the win for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. A free agent who signed a minor league contract with the Yankees last month, Gonzalez struck out eight but was touched for eight hits.
On deck: The Bisons move on to McCoy Stadium in Rhode Island to face the Pawtucket Red Sox in the opener of a three-game series on Monday (Radio 1520, 6:05 p.m.). Jacob Waguespack (1-1, 5.23) is scheduled for the Herd against Mike Shawaryn (1-0, 3.18) in a duel of right-handers. The Herd will return home to face Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday night and in a doubleheader on Saturday before taking Easter Sunday off.