Buffalo Bisons bats fall silent behind Roberto Hernandez
BUFFALO, NY __ The Buffalo Bisons’ offence could not keep pace with Gary Sanchez and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton RailRiders on Tuesday night, falling 5-2 at Coca-Cola Field.
Bisons (11-14) starter Roberto Hernandez pitched five innings on 75 pitches, allowing three earned runs on three hits with four strikeouts and a lone walk.
Sanchez, the New York Yankees top catching prospect, launched a two-run home run to left field in the third inning. The RailRiders (13-13) also got to Hernandez in the first with back-to-back doubles from Pete Kozma and Sanchez, the first of which bounced just under the glove of David Adams at third.
Domonic Brown went 2-for-4 with a double and single, scoring in the ninth on a Casey Kotchman single. The first-baseman has now reached bas in 16 of his last 19 games.
Jon Berti stole his second base at the triple-A level before scoring the first Bisons’ run of the game. With Berti on second, Alexi Casilla chopped an infield single up the middle of the diamond. On the throw to first, Berti rounded third and slid home just ahead of the throw as Sanchez dropped the ball.
“In that situation with two outs and our leadoff hitter up it’s a good time to push the envelope a little bit,” Berti said following the loss. “I definitely want to be on the aggressive side, that’s kind of my game and what I need to do to progress and help this team win. But at the same time it’s about being smart about it and I think as I’ve gotten older and I’m playing more, I’m realizing the times that it’s good to push it and when to let back.”
Junior Lake made a brilliant defensive play in centre on a deep Ben Gamel liner in the third inning, breaking straight towards the 404-feet sign, twisting his neck over both shoulders before hauling it in on the track. Gamel was a victim again in the fifth when Brown made a diving grab on his sinking liner in right.
Chad Jenkins entered in relief of Hernandez to begin the sixth and pitched a clean inning, but loaded the bases with two singles and a walk in the seventh. After allowing one run to score on an infield ground ball, Pat McCoy cleaned up with the final out of the inning and handled the eighth. Veteran right-hander David Aardsma pitched a clean ninth.
RailRiders’ starter Chad Green continued his strong 2016 start with six innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out two.
Centre-fielder Dalton Pompey was held out of action again on Tuesday, giving Berti another start in the outfield. Pompey last played on April 27th.
On Wednesday, Arnold Leon, who opened the season on Toronto’s 25-man roster, is scheduled to make his first triple-A start of the season and be followed out of the bullpen by Chris Leroux.