The Buffalo Bisons’ offense again stalled after a strong start, wasting a quality pitching performance to fall, 5-4, to the Toledo Mud Hens in 11 innings Tuesday night at Coca-Cola Field.
The loss dropped the Bisons to 27-28 and under .500 for the first time in 2014.
Hernan Perez won the game for Toledo under some controversy.
With Jordan Lennerton on second base, Perez singled to left field. Matt Tuiasosopo made a throw home and Lennerton barely reached safely.
Bisons manager Gary Allenson vehemently disagreed with the call and ran out to argue with the umpire, only to be thrown out of the game.
“I thought the guy was out," Allenson said. “I thought Jimenez tagged him on the sleeve. I went out to argue.” The umpire “wasn’t in position to see the tag. He was behind the plate.”
The run would prove to be fatal as the Bisons were unable to counter in the bottom half of the 11th.
Liam Hendriks and Bobby Korecky – both making their first appearances since being outrighted by Toronto – combined for 10 innings pitched, four earned runs on seven hits and eight strikeouts.
Hendriks, who did allow one ball to leave the yard, pitched eight innings, allowing four runs on six hits and no walks and struck out six.
“He just missed on a couple pitches,” Allenson said. “Other than that, he did pretty good. He didn’t walk anyone and he went eight innings. Anytime your starter goes eight innings, you think you’re going to win. It just didn’t happen tonight.”
Toledo did most of its damage in the top of the third inning, when Hendriks surrendered a Perez three-run home run. Aside from that shaky frame, Hendriks allowed just two hits and faced the minimum three batters in six of the eight innings he pitched.
Hendriks, who was picked up this offseason after spending seven years with the Twins’ organization, pitched well enough to earn a call-up to Toronto on May 23. After two starts he was outrighted Monday. Korecky, who was called up to Toronto in late May and subsequently outrighted, pitched two shutout innings in relief of Hendriks.
“With the way these guys are pitching, they’re going to help us out in the long run,” Allenson said.
The offense was strong early in the game as the Bisons took a 4-3 lead on home runs by Darin Mastroianni and Dan Johnson.
Jonathan Diaz, who had four hits in his previous 46 at bats entering the game, had a double and an RBI single Tuesday. Diaz raised his batting average from .087 to .120. The two hits extended a streak of nine consecutive plate appearances reaching base.
The Bisons and Mud Hens will face off again at 7:05 tonight for the second game of a four-game set.
Toledo slugger Mike Hessman, who is currently tied with Bisons great Ollie Carnegie for the International League home run record with 258, sat out Tuesday’s game after having a procedure done to remove pre-cancerous growths from his face.