This was an aberration for Ricky Romero.
The left-handed pitcher had six quality starts in his last seven outings. He had won two straight games, including a strong performance in his last start, pitching eight innings against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
But Romero missed his scheduled start on Saturday due to illness. He took the mound for the Buffalo Bisons on Monday night and looked as if he might have some lingering affects from the virus.
Statistically, Romero lasted only one inning, but he faced seven batters in the second without getting any outs. Overall, he was tagged for five runs, four earned, while issuing five walks in a 10-3 loss to the Columbus Clippers in front of 6.453 at Coca-Cola Field.
It wasn’t just Romero that looked unhealthy. The Bisons haven’t been limping since their return from the Triple-A All-Star break. going 1-4 to fall below .500 — 50-51.
“I think guys came back with the idea of making a run, and things just haven’t happened,” manager Marty Brown said. “On the pitching side things have been a little iffy. … We can’t be down by five runs after two innings.
“ We’ve got to give ourselves a chance to get in the game and get some momentum. We do have some guys that can do some things with the bat. They just haven’t gotten back in the swing of it yet.”
Romero was clearly not in his best form
“Just a little rusty,” Romero said when asked if he was still feeling sick. “I was in bed for two straight days. I hate making excuses. If I was good enough to take the ball, I expect a lot out of myself.
Columbus starter Trevor Bauer pitched a complete game, giving six hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Bauer was the third overall pick of Arizona in the 2011 draft. He made his Major League debut with the Diamondbacks last season.
The Bisons activated outfielder Moises Sierra after missing 15 games with a hamstring injury. Sierra started in right field and went and went 0 for 3 with an RBI. Also activated was right-handed reliever Neil Wagner, who returned from a stint with Toronto.
Meanwhile, the Herd released right-hand pitcher Claudio Vargas and outfielder Eugenio Velez.
The series continues tonight (7:05, TWCS, Radio 1520 AM) with J.A. Happ scheduled to make his Bisons debut on a Major League rehabilitation assignment. He has been on the disabled list since May 8 after being hit in the head with a line drive in a game with Tampa Bay on May 7. Columbus will counter with righty Danny Salazar (3-2, 3.57 ERA).