BUFFALO, NY (Bisons.com) Starting pitcher Ramon Ortiz was in cruise control for the first five innings of his start against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Unfortunately he hit a speed bump in the sixth inning and saw his quality start unravel when the Bisons lost 10-7 at Coca-Cola Field tonight.
The Bisons started off the game at the plate swinging for the fences. Second baseman Justin Turner led off the game with his third home run of the season and became the first Bison since Jason Pridie did it back on April 18th to hit a leadoff home run. First baseman Mike Jacobs followed Turner's suit by also hitting a home run in the first when he swatted his 14th home run of the season to deep right field.
Jacobs has found his home run swing as of late as he has been hitting the cover off the ball in the past few games. Over the last five games Jacobs is hitting .315 with seven RBI and five home runs.
On the mound for the Herd Ortiz started tonight's game in dominant fashion, allowing only one hit in the first five innings. That hit came way of an Eric Bruntlett home run in the third inning to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Herd.
Ortiz then ran into some trouble in the sixth inning. Ortiz allowed five men on base in the inning and saw the Yankees push five runs across in the frame while they batted around the order in the sixth. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre would not look back and added four runs over the final three innings to secure the victory.
The Bisons made a strong push in the ninth inning to make the comeback, scoring three runs along with three hits in the frame, but the Yankees had built up an insurmountable lead and ultimately won 10-7.
The Herd collected 15 hits as a team, falling well short of their high for the season set at 22 in a game against Norfolk last month but despite the loss the Bisons seem to have found their offensive form again.
After going through the month of June suffering the loss of slugger Mike Hessman and losing Jesus Feliciano and Josh Thole to the Mets the offense of the Herd suffered. The Herd struggled in June going 12-17 during the month while they had a 29-22 record before going into June. The losses of those key three players took a while to adjust but it seems the offense of the Herd is back. The Bisons are currently 4-4 this month and have scored 12 and ten runs in two separate games and collected 15 hits tonight to get their offense rolling heading into the All-Star break. Coming into today's game the Herd was tied for first in the International League in home runs while they were second in batting average and third in runs.
The loss leaves the Herd with a 45-43 record while the Yankees improve to 52-36 and have a seven game lead on Buffalo for the IL North.
BISONS NOTES: Center fielder Jorge Padilla went 3-5 today and extended his hitting streak to 12 to tie Jesus Feliciano for the longest streak by a Bison this season. Padilla will try to break Feliciano's stretch tomorrow when the Bisons finish up a short two-game series with the Yankees. The Bisons will send Dillon Gee (8-5, 4.82 ERA) to the mound to take on Tim Redding (3-4, 3.70 ERA).