Stinson dominates in win
No victory in late August is going to be easy. Friday night at Alliance Bank Stadium was no exception.
The Bisons defeated Syracuse 4-2 to snap their three-game skid and jump right back on the heals of the Columbus Clippers for the lone wild card spot in the International League. Triple-A rookie Josh Stinson shutout the Chiefs for seven innings before the Herd held on for the much-needed win.
Buffalo entered play Friday three games behind the Clippers and with just one win in their last six contests. Their 5-4 loss to the Chiefs in 14 innings on Thursday night could have been a devastating loss, as Buffalo lost more ground to the wild card race.
But the Bisons gained what ground they lost to the Clippers after Columbus lost 2-1 to IL West-leading Louisville. Buffalo is now two back with 12 games left in the season.
The story for most of Friday’s game was the start of Stinson. In just his second Triple-A start, the righty was brilliant with nine strikeouts in seven shutout innings. He allowed six hits, but all were singles. Stinson also helped his cause by walking just one batter and letting Syracuse bat with runners in scoring position only twice.
Things did get interesting, or rather scary, for the Bisons in the ninth inning. Yhency Brazoban came in and allowed two singles and a sacrifice fly as the Chiefs cut the lead to 4-1. After a walk and a strikeout, he was lifted for Mike O’Connor, who allowed an RBI-single to Chase Lambin.
With the game-tying runs on the bases, pinch hitter Carlos Maldonado turned on an O’Connor offering but lined out hard to third baseman Mike Cervenak to end the game.
The Bisons got on the board in the first when Andy Green reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch from Chiefs starter Yuneski Maya. They tacked on two more runs in the fifth with four straight two-out singles by Lucas Duda, Nick Evans, Valentino Pascucci and Cervenak.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis provided insurance in the seventh with an RBI-double.
BISONS NOTES:Mike O’Connor earned his fourth save of the season…Valentino Pascucci reached base three times with a single and two walks. He has a .398 on-base percentage in 60 games with the Bisons…With two doubleheaders left on the schedule, including one on Saturday in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Buffalo has 12 games left while Columbus has just 10.