Syracuse Blanks Bisons

( - The Bisons couldn't bring the hot bats they had in Lehigh Valley home to start their 10-game homestand.

Behind no.2 prospect A.J. Cole, The Syracuse Chiefs topped the Herd 5-0 Wednesday night at Coca-Cola Field.

"He was the key to the game right there," manger Gary Allenson told reporters post game. "He mixed it up a lot and wasn't predictable. We didn't have many opportunities."

Cole did a nice job to shut down a red hot Bisons offense. In the past two games, the Herd piled together 18 runs off 30 hits, but the bats weren't cracking tonight. Cole kept the Bisons to just three hits in his outing. All Bisons hits got in scoring position, but the Herd couldn't cash-in. In seven innings of work, the righty posted six strikeouts in his third win of the season.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs used their lethal offense to get the job done on the scoreboard.

Syracuse powered their way to strike first. The Chiefs showed why they have the most dangerous offense in the International League when Emmanuel Burris took Austin Bibens-Dirkx yard in the third. After a leadoff walk, Burriss connected on a high first-pitch fastball that soared over Brad Glenn's head and over the wall.

Syracuse tacked on two more in the next inning. Two straight doubles from Destin Hood and Greg Dobbs added a run to the lead, while Jhonatan Solano followed up with a single to score Dobbs from second to give Syracuse a 4-0 lead.

In his first start since being promoted from Double-A New Hampshire yesterday, Bibens-Dirkx had some trouble sitting down the number one offense in the International League. In his four innings of work, the righty allowed four runs off six hits and struck out three in his outing.

"He didn't have the good command that he has shown in the past," Allenson said.

With runners at the corners and one out in the fourth, Bibens-Dirkx scooped up a routine grounder, but it looked like the pitcher had a mental error. Instead of throwing to second and attempting the double play or making a play at the plate, Bibens-Dirkx took the routine out at first, which caused a run to score and put another runner in scoring position.

"Sometimes you get unlucky, I wasn't making the best pitches in the world," Bibens-Dirkx said. "If you don't give good pitches to good hitters, you're going to pay for it."

The two ballclubs will resume action tomorrow in a Thursday matinee with first pitch at 1:05pm. LHP Raul Valdes will clash against RHP Taylor Hill. With just three games remaining between these two ball clubs, the Thruway Cup battle is as close as it could be with Syracuse ahead by just a game.


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