BUFFALO, N.Y. (From Bisons.com)- Kevin Pillar had his fifth multi-hit game to extend his hitting streak to 10 games Wednesday night.
But that was the only run for the Bisons as they fell to Rochester 11-1 in front of a loyal crowd of 17,208 at Coca-Cola Field Wednesday in the annual Independence Eve Celebration game.
Pillar's home run in the third inning was his third of the season. The young outfielder has been in a great rhythm over the last few weeks and is batting .382 with 11 RBI's in 13 games with the Herd.
"He just figures out a way to make things happen," Bisons manager Marty Brown said of his outfielder. "It's fun to watch him play. I know he's still learning a lot at this level, too. He goes up there with the idea pretty much every time he goes up to the plate and defensively he has played really well. Definite bright spot," he said.
Buffalo is coming off an eight-game road trip and goes back on the road tomorrow for a two-game series with Scranton.
But nobody is making excuses in the clubhouse, despite the off day for the Herd bats.
"We didn't look ourselves at all," Brown said. "I think everybody goes through this at this time of year...we're not going to celebrate very much as a team, but it looked like a great crowd tonight.
"The fans were into it, they're looking forward to a good show, so hopefully we can regroup on this road trip and come home and play with a little more intensity and enthusiasm."
Pillar credits his hard work ethic and listening to the little things from his teammates toward the success he has had at the Triple-A level thus far.
The 24-year-old outfielder has not been with the team very long, but is making the most of his opportunities even when the rest of the team is struggling.
His coach agrees and compared Pillar to former Bisons outfielder Grady Sizemore with regards to his tools and ability to make every chance count.
"He's just got heart," Brown said. "He's not the most talented guy as far as tools, but what he has he gets the most of. Yet, his tools are good so he just does the little things right to make himself a good ball player...it's nice to see players that have that intangible they can go out and get the most," he said.
The Bisons had just five hits in seven innings against Red Wings starter Andrew Albers.
Jim Negrych and Mike Nickeas were the only two other Herd batters to record a hit.
"There are no excuses from the guys," Pillar said. "We knew what we had to do, we knew what the schedule was coming in. we'd be lying to say it's not tough, but I don't know if that had a direct outcome on the game."
The Red Wings offense caught fire in the fifth and never looked back. They scored runs in the final five frames against the Herd.
Rochester scored two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to jump ahead 8-1 on the Bisons.
Jeff Clement hit a two-RBI double down the right field line, scoring Antoan Richardson and Doug Bernier to give Rochester a 4-1 lead in the fifth.
After Bobby Korecky relieved Vargas with two outs and runners on first and second, Korecky struck out Brian Dinkelman for the final out of the inning.
In the sixth, Antoan Richardson hit a sharp line-drive in the gap between center and right to score Eric Ferris, giving the Red Wings a 5-1 lead.
Doug Bernier singled to center to score Richardson and the Red Wings went up 6-1 after five and a half.
Rochester led off the seventh with two-straight doubles by Deibinson Romero and Chris Herrman to go up 7-1. With the ninth-hole hitter up for the Red Wings, Mauro Gomez let a ground ball go through his legs and Herrman scored easily from second base to go up by seven.
The Red Wings added insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings as well.
Chris Colabello hit his 21st home run of the season off of reliever Buddy Carlyle in the eighth to increase the lead to 9-1 for the Red Wings.
Dinkelman hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth over the right-field wall to go up 11-1.
Starter Claudio Vargas lasted 4 2/3 innings for the Herd. He allowed six hits and four earned runs, while striking out three and walking three. The 6-foot-4 right-hander took his sixth loss on the year.
Korecky finished the night allowing five hits and four earned runs, while striking out two in 2.1 innings of work. Carlyle came into the game in the eighth and allowed four hits and three runs in two innings.
"It looked like we were dragging...Korecky hasn't been out there in a while, so you could understand why he didn't locate, but we just left too many pitches up and middle and had to pay for it," Brown said.
Bisons Notes: This was the 19th consecutive year of the Bisons Independence Eve Celebration game...The Herd dropped to 6-13 all-time in this game with the loss...Buffalo is now 5-4 against Rochester this season...Jim Negrych and Mauro Gomez were named starters for the 2013 IL All-Star team earlier today...Andy LaRoche was reactivated by Buffalo just before today's game...LaRoche will take RHP Todd Redmond's spot on the roster...Redmond was recalled by Toronto.