The Buffalo Bisons flirted with history Sunday, and not the good kind.
Nineteen times Bisons batters went down on strikes, one shy of the modern era record against the Herd, in a 6-5 loss to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs before 9,401 at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa.
The record of 20 strikeouts by the Bisons came on June 3, 2001 in a 2-1 loss against the Clippers in Columbus. Randy Keisler of the Clippers had 18 strikeouts in the game, which is the modern era record for the most by an individual pitcher against Buffalo.
The loss completed a seven-game road swing in which the Bisons went 3-4 at Syracuse and Lehigh Valley. They will open an eight-game home stand with a doubleheader against the Pawtucket Red Sox Monday at Sahlen Field (Radio 1520, 5:05 p.m.).
After coming back from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game, the Bisons gave up a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth by Andrew Romine. The hit scored Shane Robinson from third. Robinson had singled with one out, move to second on a wild pitch.
Strikeout king: IronPigs starter, Nick Pivetta who was demoted from the parent Philadelphia Phillies after three ineffective starts, registered 14 of the strikeouts in his six innings against the Bisons. The 6-foot-5 left-hander from Victoria, B.C. in Canada, mowed down the Bisons from the start. The first six Buffalo batters struck out and eight of the first nine outs the IronPigs recorded were by strikeout. The first Bison to reach base was Andy Burns who walked with one out in the third.
Walding again: Mitch Walding of the IronPigs, who hammered Bisons pitching last season, hit a three-run homer to help Lehigh Valley get off to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The IronPigs made it 5-1 in the fourth when Robinson singled home a run. The rally was cut short when Bisons right fielder Anthony Alford threw out a runner trying to score on a fly ball by Lane Adams
Efficiency: The Bisons had only five hits in the game but they helped produce five runs. Jonathan Davis doubled home the tying run for the Herd in the ninth after walking with the bases full to force home the first run of Buffalo's three-run rally in the seventh. Lourdes Guerriel Jr. singled to send home two runs in the seventh. Richard Urena doubled to drive in the first Herd run in the fourth.
Transactions: Urena reported to the Bisons from Toronto and was in the lineup at shortstop on Sunday. Veteran infielder Eduardo Nunez is expected to be in action for Pawtucket on Monday. He's on a rehab assignment from Boston.
On deck: Right-hander Sean Reid-Foley (0-1, 12.00) will start Monday's opener against Pawtucket. Conor Fisk (0-1, 4.82), normally a reliever, will get the spot start in the second game. He has pitched in five games so far for the Herd, all in relief. The PawSox starters are TBA.