Entering with a 2-2 record and an 8.27 ERA, Bisons fans had to assume that Buffalo was poised to have a big night Monday against Charlotte Knights starting pitcher Andre Rienzo.
Unfortunately for the Herd, games aren’t played on paper as Rienzo had one of his best starts of the season, limiting the Bisons to only one run as Charlotte took down Buffalo 5-1.
While Rienzo was shutting down the Bisons bats, Herd starter Dave Bush wasn’t able to do the same against the Knights.
Bush struggled on the night, allowing four runs on six hits in six innings of action.
As a pitcher who can’t afford to miss with his pitches, Bush made a few too many mistakes as he allowed a pair of solo home runs in the second inning to Jordan Danks and Lars Anderson to give Charlotte a 2-0 lead.
“Every time he’s behind in the count, they take advantage of it.” Bisons manager Marty Brown said, “With his velocity, you have to be nearly perfect and he left some balls over the plate they took advantage of us.”
Leading 2-0 in the fourth, Charlotte once again capitalized off of Bush, increasing their lead to 4-0 on a two run single by Angel Sanchez.
Trailing early in the contest made it difficult for Buffalo to get back into the action.
“When you’re playing from behind, it’s always more of a challenge, especially early in the game” Brown said, “When they get the lead before you go one time through the order, it makes it difficult.”
Buffalo could only scrap up one run in the contest, an RBI infield single by Ryan Goins in the fourth to make it 4-1 before going on to lose 5-1.
The Bisons lone bright spot on the night was the hitting of Mauro Gomez who cracked out two hits, which could possibly be the spark the slugger needs to get back on track.
“Mauro’s an extremely hard worker. He’s been through these situations” Brown said, “He’s obviously had a lot of success in this league and he’s working hard to get where he needs to be so that’s all I can really ask.”
To limit Buffalo to only one run is an impressive feat and Marty Brown was complimentary of Rienzo following the game.
“You have to give him some credit. He threw the ball very well. He mixed speeds with his fastball and pitched to both sides of the plate well.”
Bush is credited with the loss, dropping the Bisons starter to 4-4 on the year.
Buffalo is now 2-5 against IL South teams and returns to action tomorrow evening at 7:05 to conclude their four-game series with the Knights.
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