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Sluggish offense troubles Bisons in loss to Norfolk

Three runs in the bottom of the fifth gave Norfolk all the offense it needed en route to a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Bisons Friday night to open a three-game series.

Sean Reid-Foley (0-2) walked two Tides batters on six pitches to set the stage and Anthony Santander drove them both in with a double to left field.

A double from Ryan Mountcastle right afterwards sent Santander back home.

Reid-Foley was pulled after six innings and 105 pitches. He struck out four, walked four and currently has an ERA of 8.13.

Buffalo’s only run of the night came when Reese McGuire singled to bring Anthony Alford home.

The loss drops the Bisons to 13-19 overall while Norfolk improves to 16-18.

Keegan Akin (1-1) earned his first win of the season for Norfolk. He went 6.2 innings, gave up four hits and one walk and struck out six.

Jay Flaa earned the save; he gave up two hits and neither struck out nor walked a Buffalo batter.

The win was Norfolk’s sixth in eight games. The Tides remain in last place in the International League South, three-and-a-half games out of first place.

Buffalo and Pawtucket remain tied for last place in the North.

The Bisons were unable to recreate the scoring spree that they enjoyed Thursday against Gwinnett.

Neither side was able to score through the first four innings of play.

One difference was the absence of outfielder Jonathan Davis, who was called up to the Toronto Blue Jays earlier on Friday.

Davis had batted .306 with 15 hits and nine RBIs in 16 games this season with Buffalo.

He drove in two runs against the Stripers on Thursday on one hit as the designated hitter. Davis also drew three walks.

It’s a tough loss for an offense that’s already seen the departure of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to Toronto and Bo Bichette to the injury list with a broken hand.

Right now, Buffalo’s best hitter is Cavan Biggio, currently batting .327. He leads the team in hits with 34; Roemon Fields is the runner-up with 28 this season.

Bichette was batting .250 with 13 hits before he broke his hand. There is no timetable on his return to the field.

Pitchers Thomas Pannone and Javy Guerra were also called up to the majors on Friday. Pannone saw time in the Blue Jays’ game Friday against the Chicago White Sox.

He pitched 1.2 innings, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Anthony Alford chipped away at the hitting slump he was in with a double and a single.

He’s currently batting .173 with 11 hits in his past 11 games; his average had dipped as low as .131 in April.

Also struggling at the dish is shortstop Andrew Guillotte, who is currently batting .190.

He flied out twice and struck out in his three trips to the plate Friday.

Guillotte logged three hits and drove in two runs on Thursday against Gwinnett, his best performance this season.

That was his first multi-hit performance since he logged two hits on April 14 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The three-game series continues today at 7:05 p.m. at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Va.

The teams will conclude the series Sunday at 1:05 p.m. before Buffalo returns home to Sahlen Field for a series with Gwinnett Tuesday.

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