By Mike Meiler email@example.com
Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — The Buffalo Bisons missed an opportunity to further close the gap in the International League North on Thursday, earning a 4-2 loss to the division-leading Rochester Red Wings in an afternoon game at Coca-Cola Field.
The Bisons (65-61) took an early 2-0 lead courtesy of Brad Glenn, who hit a two-run home run in the second inning in his first AAA at-bat since getting the call from AA New Hampshire to replace Kevin Pillar, who was called up to the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week.
After a leadoff single by Ricardo Nanita, Glenn took two pitches before driving the 1-1 offering over the wall in left.
“I hadn’t seen (Rochester starter P.J. Walters) at all, so I wanted to see a pitch,” Glenn said. “I got to see his fastball, then he missed with a breaking ball. I figured he was coming back with a fastball in, and he just happened to miss enough over the plate for me to get to it.”
Starter Justin Germano cruised through the first four innings, only allowing runners to reach on an error in the first and back-to-back two-out singles in the third. But the shine wore off in the fifth, when a pair of errors, an infield single and a walk helped the Red Wings (69-58) take a 3-2 lead.
With one out, Ray Olmedo dropped a first-pitch bunt down the third base line for a harmless single. Eric Fryer followed by grounding into a fielder’s choice, with third baseman Jim Negrych throwing the ball to second baseman Ryan Goins to force out Olmedo. Fryer swiped second, and Germano missed twice after working Darin Mastroianni to a 2-2 count, issuing a free pass.
Eduardo Escobar followed with a single up the middle to center fielder Anthony Gose, who conceded Fryer’s run and attempted to put away Mastroianni on his way to third. Negrych misplayed the throw, sending the ball past the base and allowing Mastroianni to score.
Chris Parmelee looked to end the inning when he laced a line drive at right fielder Moises Sierra, but Sierra misread the ball, which got down for a second error and allowed Escobar to score.
Fryer tacked on a solo homer in the seventh to round out the scoring, but the final blow came in the bottom of the eighth when Buffalo first baseman Clint Robinson and manager Marty Brown were ejected for arguing balls and strikes by home plate umpire Andy Dudones.
Germano (8-9) took the loss but gave the Herd bullpen a much-needed day off, pitching the full nine innings during the team’s 10th game in eight days. Walters (6-3) earned the win, giving up six hits and two runs in seven innings. Michael Tonkins navigated a single in the ninth to earn his 10th save.
Brown did not meet with the media after the game.
The Bisons will get a chance to win the three-game series in today’s rubber match at Coca-Cola Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Follow Gazette sports reporter Mike Meiler on Twitter @mikemeiler for updates on your local teams.Follow Gazette sports reporter Mike Meiler on Twitter @mikemeiler for updates on your local teams.