Buffalo 2, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 7: Bisons Get Swept

Even the shining sun and nearly 15,000 screaming kids were not enough to will the Bisons to a victory today at Coca Cola Field as they played the last of a three game set against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Buffalo fell victim to the sweep, dropping two games of a double header yesterday and losing 7-2 today.

The Bisons got behind quickly again today. In the top of the first RailRiders’ leadoff man Mason Williams legged out an infield single, and scored when the next batter, Cole Figueroa, drilled a double to right field. Another base runner reached on a questionable fielder’s choice play by Bisons’ starter Felix Doubront that yielded no outs. The mistake proved costly, as Scranton’s right fielder Tyler Austin would drive in two more runs, extending the RailRiders’ lead to 3-0 before the Bisons could even get a batter in the box.

When The Herd did get to the box, however, their fortune did not improve much. That was much of the fault of the starting pitcher they were matched against, Luis Severino. The hard throwing right-hander is the best prospect in the Yankees (RailRiders’ Major League affiliate) organization. According to MLB.com, Severino is the seventh best right handed pitching prospect in all of baseball, including names like Noah Syndergaard and Archie Bradley, who are already up in the Big Leagues.

Severino opened strong against Buffalo. Actually, he opened perfect for 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander retired the first 11 batters that he faced, striking out two in that span. His perfect bid was broken up when Buffalo’s Matt Hauge hit a liner up the middle, which glanced off the pitcher and rolled out of everyone’s reach. The base runner wouldn’t mean much for Buffalo as the next batter, Brad Glenn, would fall victim to Severino’s third strikeout of the day.

Again in Scranton’s half of the third the RailRiders would continue to add to their lead. Scranton shortstop Nick Noonan drove in a run on his single, but was thrown out trying to stretch to a double. The runner that advanced to third on the play would score on a Doubront wild pitch that dribbled to the backstop. The additions lengthened the Scranton lead to 5-0.  

The Bisons best chance to level the score came in the bottom of the sixth. The Herd loaded the bases against Severino on a walk and two base hits. The RailRiders then made a pitching change, though it wouldn’t throw off Hauge who knocked in two runs on a line drive hit to left.  Severino was still responsible for the runs, ending the day with 5 1/3 innings pitched, four hits, two earned runs, one walk and four strikeouts. The rally cut the Bisons’ deficit to 5-2.

However, the RailRiders would respond as they did all series long. Figueroa knocked in a run on a double down the line in the seventh, extending the Scranton lead to 6-2. Again in the eighth Scranton scored. This time it was much more a product of Buffalo self destruction, as the Bisons’ reliever Gregory Infante walked two batters, allowed a single and walked another with bases loaded, pushing across yet another Scranton run.

The 7-2 lead would be plenty for a Scranton victory over the Bisons. The win means a sweep for the RailRiders over the Bisons. Buffalo will attempt to rebalance itself against the Charolette Knights, who visit Buffalo starting tomorrow with a double header. The Knights are in town for a four game set. First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 4:05 p.m.

Mascot Race

Chicken Wing extended his win streak to three straight games in a heated, crispy, saucy (enough chicken win puns? Probably) race. The race stunk of corruption as Chicken Wing pulled up with an injury, allowed Celery to help him stand back up on his feet, and then pushed Celery down to race to the finish line uncontested. The morality of the victory can be questioned, but the validity cannot.