BUFFALO, NY (Bisons.com) - The Bisons suffered their second consecutive one run loss to the Toledo Mud Hens today at Coca-Cola field, losing 8-7.
The Mud Hens jumped on Bisons starting pitcher Dylan Owen early in the second inning. Leading off the inning for the Mud Hens was first baseman Jeff Frazier. Frazier took a 1-2 offering from Owen and crushed it to deep left field for his eighth home run of the season.
Following Frazier was center fielder Casper Wells who also went deep to left field for his eighth home run of the season. It was the first time a Bisons opponent hit back-to-back home runs since Andy Tracy and Michael Taylor did it while playing for Lehigh Valley last season. The Mud Hens would score two more runs as the first six batters reached base safely in the second inning.
After his struggles in the second inning Owen was able to bounce back and finish his outing strong. After allowing the first six batters to reach base in the second Owen retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced to limit the damage the Mud Hens caused. For the day Owen went five innings, giving up six hits. Along with those six hits Owen allowed four runs, all of which came in the second.
For the Herd the hit machine Jesus Feliciano was at it again. The center fielder went 5-5 on the day and brought his batting average up 20 points to an incredible .403 for the season. Feliciano's five hit day was the first for a Bisons player since Joe Inglett went 5-6 for the Herd on August 25, 2005.
Trailing 4-0 in the bottom half of the fifth, first baseman Daniel Murphy hit a three run home run that Herd pulled to within one run. Murphy's first home run of the season was a deep fly ball to center field off of Mud Hens starting pitcher Ryan Ketchner.
The Mud Hens would answer with another four run inning in the top half of the sixth. Every Mud Hens batter came to the plate once as they did the same thing in the second inning. The offensive attack was started by third baseman Brent Dlugach who hit his fourth home run of the year off of Herd reliever Mike O'Connor.
The Mud Hens would add another run by a Max Leon sacrifice fly. The final two runs from the Mud Hens would come from the result of fielding errors by Herd first baseman Daniel Murphy and second baseman Justin Turner in consecutive fielding attempts.
It did not take the Herd long to get those runs back as they put up their own fourth run frame in the bottom of the sixth. After designated hitter Mike Jacobs doubled to lead off the inning, left fielder Mike Cervenak hit a two run home run to trim the lead to two runs. After a bases loaded force out at first drove home catcher Josh Thole, Murphy singled to left to score shortstop Ruben Tejada to make it a one run game.
The Herd was unable to get the final run they needed in the final three frames and lost 8-7, splitting the four game series with the Mud Hens after winning the first two games. The Herd now stand at 29-21. The loss was also the first time the Herd lost back-to-back games at home for the since the Yankees took two consecutive games back in April.
BISONS NOTES: Third baseman Mike Hessman was unable to add to his league high totals of home runs and RBI by going 0-4 on the day. His 53 RBI are still seven more than any player in the IL and his 17 home runs are three better than the next leading slugger. The Bisons will open a four game series with the Syracuse Chiefs tomorrow when Jonathon Niese takes on right hander Jeff Mandel. First pitch is slated for 2:05 p.m.