The Syracuse Mets finally put an end to Buffalo's modern era franchise-record 12-game winning streak, 3-2, on Saturday night at Sahlen Field.
It wasn't easy, however.
The Mets needed to cut down the potential tying run on a strong throw to the plate by left-fielder Mark Payton and a persistent, though not smooth, relief pitching performance by right-hander Jesus Reyes to at least slow down the Bisons' march to a Northeast Division pennant in Triple-A East.
Syracuse never was behind in the game, broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth when Cheslor Cuthbert scored from third on a wild pitch by Bisons right-hander Rafael Dolis.
The Bisons who had rallied to tie the game with single runs in the fifth and seventh inning, threatened to pull another comeback. Tyler White opened the Buffalo eighth by walking on a 3-2 pitch from Reyes. Richard Urena reached on a fielder's choice forceout and advanced to third on a single by Cullen Large.
However, Urena was tagged out at the plate when he tried to score on Rodrigo Vigil's fly ball to Payton in left field.
Reyes, who allowed six hits and two walks in his five innings of relief, then set the Bisons down in order in the bottom of the ninth and preserve what was only the eighth victory for Syracuse in 28 games against Buffalo this season.
Six Buffalo pitchers combined to allow 10 hits and five walks to the Mets, but kept pitching out of trouble, leaving 11 Mets on base.
Striking first: Syracuse took the lead in the second on a solo home run by Travis Blankenhorn against Kyle Johnson, making his third spot start for the Herd. The Mets made it 2-0 in the fifth when Tomas Nido singled with the bases full against A.J. Cole, the third Buffalo pitcher.
Forrest Wall's sacrifice fly scored Urena with the first Buffalo run in the fifth. The Herd tied it with a run in the seventh when Christian Colon's pinch-hit sacrifice fly scored Wall, who reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to third on one of the three Syracuse errors in the game.
Winning run: Cuthbert doubled with one out in the eighth, moved to third on Mason Williams' ground out and scored on Dolis' wild pitch with Orlando Calixte at bat.
Magic number: The Bisons magic number to clinch the Northeast Division pennant remained at four. However the Herd were helped in their bid to overtake Durham for the overall best record in Triple-A East when the Bulls lost the first game of their doubleheader against Norfolk, their 62nd loss. Buffalo is 68-42, but has fewer wins the Durham.
Buffalo suffered its firsts lost since a 7-6 loss at home to the Worcester Red Sox on Aug. 28. The Bisons defeated Worcester once, then took seven straight at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before winning the first four games on the current home stand against Syracuse.
Smitty's back: Infielder Kevin Smith, who was leading the Bisons in batting, home runs and runs batted-in when he called up by Toronto last month, played his first game since he was sent back by the Blue Jays on Friday. He had a two-out single in the seventh after the Bisons had tied the game at 2-2. He also struck out three times.
Next: Right-hander Bowden Francis (9-4, 3.84) is listed to go against righty Jerad Eickhoff (7-2, 5.57) of the Mets in Sunday's series finale, with a first pitch at 6:05 p.m. The Bisons will be off Monday before opening a series in Rochester on Tuesday.