Tonawanda News — BUFFALO — Missed opportunities were the story Thursday at Coca-Cola Field as the Buffalo Bisons dropped the last of a four-game series to the Norfolk Tides, 7-3.
After falling behind 6-0, the Bisons (20-12, first place International League North) saw multiple chances to rally go by faster than the afternoon rain clouds. The Herd finished just 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base.
The Tides (23-11, first place IL South) scored four runs in the third off Buffalo starter Miguel Batista (1-1). The 42-year-old induced a pop out to start the inning, but gave up an 0-2 home run to Niuman Romero for the game’s first run.
Batista then got Jason Pridie to ground out, but gave up an 0-1 homer to Jonathan Schoop, a single to Russ Canzler, a double to Danny Valencia and a two-run single to Travis Ishikawa to fall into a 4-0 hole.
The Norfolk bats stayed hot in the fourth. Luis Exposito led off with a double, and Romero followed with a soft grounder to Batista, who attempted to get Exposito out headed to third. The throw wasn’t in time, and Romero reached on a fielder’s choice.
“The second time through the order, (Batista) elevated some balls, and they’re not a team you can get by with those kind of mistakes,” Buffalo manager Marty Brown said.
Pridie followed with a single to score Exposito, and after Schoop struck out and Canzler walked, Valencia hit a ground ball to Buffalo shortstop Mike McCoy. McCoy tossed the ball to Jim Negrych for the force at second, but Valencia beat Negrych’s throw to first, scoring Romero. Batista was relieved by Buddy Carlyle, who ended the inning by striking out Ishikawa.
The Bisons finally got to Norfolk starter Zach Britton in the bottom of the inning. Moises Sierra led off with an infield single, but was out at second when Luis Jimenez hit into a 3-6 fielder’s choice. Andy LaRoche and Ryan Langerhans walked to load the bases, and Eugenio Velez singled to left to knock in Jimenez and LaRoche. Mike McCoy flied out and Mike Nickeas grounded out with two men on to end the inning.