BUFFALO- For the second straight night, the Bisons' were beaten by the playoff-bound Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The second-to-last home game of the season at Coca-Cola Field saw a blowout 14-2 RailRiders' win on Wednesday.
Rain before the game's regularly scheduled start time of 7:05 pushed first pitch to 7:21 p.m, but the delay did not stop the RailRiders' roll. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre struck for four runs in both the second and third innings against Bisons' starter Scott Diamond, pulling out to 10-0 lead by the fifth inning. The 14 runs allowed by Buffalo tie the seasonal-high against the club in 2016, and the 18 hits against the Herd are the second-most against the Bisons this season.
Five RailRiders had multi-hit games, with Mason Williams driving in four runs, and Kyle Higashioka and Cito Culver plating three runs each. It was also a big night for designated hitter Donovan Solano, who went 4-5 with five runs scored. On the pitching side, Jordan Montgomery wins his fifth straight game, allowing two runs through 6.0 innings.
"They're a good club," Bisons' manager Gary Allenson said of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. "You got to be on you're A-game, you got to be able to mix it up. They hit the ball very hard against us, and they found some holes."
Facing Diamond in the top of the second, Mason Williams lined a single that scored Donovan Solano to plate the game's first run. Two batter later, Rob Refsynder scored a pair of runs with a bases-loaded single, increasing the IronPigs' lead to 3-0. Diamond avoided further damage, as Cesar Puello was thrown out trying to advance to third on the play.
In the top of the third, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre scored four more runs, forcing Diamond from the game. Chad Girodo came in for relief after two runs had crossed the plate, but then surrendered two inherited runners on single by Mason Williams. The lead stretched to 10-0 in the fifth, with Kyle Higashioka knocking a two-run home run.
Dalton Pompey had a bunt single leading off the bottom of the first, and the Bisons' next baserunner did not come until the fourth, when Matt Dominguez doubled. Buffalo's rally in the fourth was short lived, as Jesus Montero lined a shot to second baseman Pete Kozma, who caught the scorching liner, fell down, and threw to second, doubling off Dominguez.
In the sixth, the Herd loaded the bases against Montgomery, finally scoring a pair of runs with a single by Matt Dominguez, who picked up three hits in the contest. Wednesday ends Montgomery's scoreless inning streak at 29.2 innings. Montgomery struck out three in his 6.0 innings of work, lowering his ERA at Triple-A to 0.97.
"He's got good stuff," Allenson said of Montgomery. "He's 23-years old and he's probably got a bright future, and we just didn't do anything off him."
Donovan Solano became the second Bisons' opponent in the modern era to score five runs in a game, a feat previously only accomplished by Columbus' Ezequiel Carrera on June 5, 2012.
Richard Bleier earned a three-inning save, allowing two hits and no runs in relief for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Chris Smith relieved Girodo for the sixth, pitching in his second game with the Bisons, and hurled a one-two-three frame. The bases were loaded against Matt Dermody in the seventh, with the 11th and 12th runs coming across to score. Dustin Antolin entered, and escaped a bases-packed spot by striking out Refsynder swinging. Aaron Loup returned from the majors in the eighth, loaded the bases, and surrendered two more runs. Ryan Tepera was the last of six relievers used by Buffalo, tossing a perfect inning in the ninth.
Scott Diamond allowed eight earned runs, yielding nine hits and two walks. He has allowed a combined 21 runs in three of his last four outings, the bright spot coming on Aug. 26, when he gave up one earned over 6.0 innings. Diamond falls to 9-14 on the campaign.
The Bisons' final home game of the season will take place at 6:05 p.m. on Thursday at Coca-Cola Field. Fan Appreciation Night will be followed by post-game fireworks. Buffalo then heads on the road, beginning a two-game set on Friday with the RailRiders at PNC Field.
On Wednesday, relievers Aaron Loup and Bo Schultz rejoined Buffalo, while Ryan Goins has been recalled to Toronto… Darrell Ceciliani stretches his hitting streak to 12 games, and his on-base streak to 18… Meanwhile, Jesus Montero ends his on-base streak at 20-games… Scott Diamond becomes the first Bisons' pitcher to lose 14 games in a season since Tim Wakefield lost 15 in 1994.