Home run pitches plagued Buffalo Bisons hurlers again on Sunday in the Herd’s 7-6 loss in 11 innings to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Sahlen Field.
Six of the IronPigs’ runs — all but the winner — came on home runs as the Bisons continued to give up the long ball in wholesale lots. Buffalo has surrendered 92 homers this season, most in the International League. They have hit 52, the fewest in the league, and had none Sunday.
Matt McBrude, Mitch Walding, Jan Hernandez and Damek Tomscha hit home runs for the IronPigs, and all either put their team in the lead or evened the score.
Lehigh Valley’s winning run in the 11th came with the assistant of minor league baseball’s tiebreaker rule. McBride, who took over as catcher after an injury to Rob Brantly, was placed at second base to start the 11th. He moved to third on a throwing error by Bisons catcher Reese McGuire on a pickoff attempt, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Malquin Canelo.
Buffalo’s chance to tie it in the bottom of the 11th was stopped when Jonathan Davis tried to score from third base on a grounder to shortstop Canelo, who threw out Davis at home. He was one of three Buffalo baserunners thrown out on the bases Sunday.
McGuire had all five of the Bisons’ RBIs, three coming on a bases-clearing double that gave the Herd a 6-5 lead in the seventh. However, Tomscha tied it with his home run to center against reliever Ryan Shafer in the top of the eighth.
The loss snapped the Bisons’ three-game win streak and kept them from sweeping the three-game set against the IronPigs.
David Phelps, on rehab from the Toronto Blue Jays, started for the Bisons on Sunday. He pitched one inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced before Ryan Feierabend took over and pitched the next four innings. Kirby Snead, the seventh Bisons pitcher to appear in the game, took the loss to even his record at 1-1. Alexis Rivero pitched two scoreless innings to get the win.
The Bisons are on Monday, a travel day, as they head west for three games in Indianapolis starting on Tuesday (Radio 1520, 7:05 p.m.) and three in Louisville starting on Friday.