TOLEDO — The Buffalo Bisons were only able to make it interesting before falling to Toledo, 4-3, as a sellout crowd of 11,000 looked on at Fifth Third Field on Saturday night.
The start of the game was delayed 44 minutes by rain. The loss ended the Buffalo win streak at four while Toledo snapped a three-game slide.
In the Bisons’ ninth, Andy LaRoche drew a leadoff walk. Ryan Goins followed with a two-run home run down the right field line that landed just inside the foul pole to bring the Herd within a run. Mike Nickeas kept the rally going with a single and Munenori Kawasaki drew a walk. But Kevin Pillar hit into a 3-6-3 double play and Anthony Gose grounded out to end the game. Toledo’s fourth pitcher, Jose Valverde, earned his sixth save despite the shaky ninth.
The Bisons also squandered a chance for a big inning in the eighth when they loaded the bases with no outs and couldn’t score. The Bisons were 1 of 10 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base.
Meanwhile, Toledo couldn’t have gotten off to a quicker start as the leadoff batter, Garcia Avisail, sent the first pitch he saw from Buffalo starter Ricky Romero over the fence in center field.
The Mud Hens added two runs in the third and a single run in the fifth. Romero (2-5) took the loss after he lasted 4∑ innings giving up eight hits, four runs with five strikeouts.
The third game in the four-game series is tonight (6 p.m., Radio 1520 AM). Lefty J.A. Happ (0-0, 2,25) will make his second rehab appearance for the Herd while the Mud Hens will send Kyle Lobstein (2-1, 3.34). Happ has been given a 95-pitch limit. The Bisons will travel to Columbus to begin a four-game set on Tuesday.
The Bisons are 2-4 against the Mud Hens this season. Toledo went 3-1 in a four-game series at Coca-Cola Field July 16-21.
Even after winning Friday’s series opener, the Herd are just 4-14 at Fifth Third Field since 2009.