TOLEDO, Ohio — J.A. Happ’s second rehabilitation start with the Buffalo Bisons did not go well Sunday night in the Herd’s 6-0 loss to the Toledo Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field.
The tall left-hander struggled from the start when he gave up a leadoff walk to Avisail Garcia in the bottom of the first followed by Jordan Lennerton’s 14th home run of the season before getting an out.
That put the Herd in what has been a familiar position lately, an early hole.
The Mud Hens made it 5-0 in the fourth inning with four hits and a walk against Happ. The former Philadelphia Phlllies left-hander was relieved by Bobby Korecky in the fifth after giving up a one-out homer to Ben Guez.
Meanwhile, the Bisons were not having much success against Toledo left-hander Blaine Hardy (3-0), who shut them out on four hits, all singles, through six innings. Three Toledo relievers set the Herd down in the order in the last three frames with four strikeouts. In all the Bisons struck out 10 times in the game. Hardy, 26, started the season at Double-A Erie, where he went 2-2 with a 1.63 earned run average as a reliever.
It was the eighth time the Bisons (54-53) have been shut out this season, and the loss dropped Buffalo 3½ games behind the first place Pawtucket Red Sox (58-50) in the North Division standings of the International League.
Besides going 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position and leaving seven runners on base, the Bisons also had two baserunners erased. Anthony Gose was picked off first by Hardy after his single with one out in the first and Ryan Goins was thrown out at second trying to stretch his two-out single in the sixth inning.
It was Happ’s fifth overall rehab start since he was placed on the disabled list by the Toronto Blue Jays on May 8.
The Bisons and Mud Hens will conclude their four-game set here and season series at noon today with Thad Weber (4-4, 2.49) due to start for the Herd against right-hander Jon Link (0-2, 3.86).