BUFFALO, N.Y. (From Bisons.com)- The Bisons pitching staff allowed 17 hits and Toledo scored a combined 11 runs in five straight innings to defeat Buffalo 12-3 on Saturday night at Coca-Cola Field.
Before tonight, Buffalo had 10 quality starts by its starters in the last 13 games.
Outfielder Melky Cabrera was the one bright spot on offense for the Herd. In his second game with Buffalo on his rehab assignment, Cabrera had two line drive hits and a sacrifice fly. He was replaced by Munenori Kawasaki in the sixth inning. Mike McCoy moved to left field, while Kawasaki went to second base.
Cabrera headed back to Toronto immediately after his exit after the fifth inning to end his rehab stint.
"He can hit. It doesn't matter which side of the plate you put him on, he's got the ability to hit," said Bisons manager Marty Brown.
Brown said he was not positive that Cabrera was 100 percent healthy, but knows the Blue Jays want him back in their lineup.
"We wish him the best," Brown said. "He goes about his job the right way."
The Bisons used six pitchers in the game.
Herd starter Claudio Vargas never found a rhythm or command in the game. He dropped to 5-7 on the season.
Vargas allowed eight hits and five earned runs with no strikeouts in three innings pitched. The right-hander was making his 14th start of the season and it was his first since July 3.
"He hasn't been out there in a while, Brown said. "But I think he got away from his game plan a little bit and he didn't have the command that he needed to get the ball to either side of the plate and they took advantage of it. He pitched behind in the count, too, that got him in trouble."
The Mud Hens hit the ball all over the field, forcing the Buffalo defense to make plays in the field. Some plays were made and some were not. The Bisons committed two errors on the night along with some bad hops that did not go their way.
"We didn't play overly great defense," Brown said. "We misplayed a couple ball, took some bad routes. It was a sloppy played game, to be honest."
The five Herd relievers combined for six innings, allowing nine hits and four earned runs while striking out seven.
Bobby Korecky, who had not pitched in 16 days according to Brown, threw two strikeouts in two solid innings of work. Left-hander Tommy Hottovy also contributed with two strikeouts in one inning pitched.
"We didn't command the ball when we needed to and pitched behind in the count, some things we've been doing very well. We just have to regroup tomorrow," Brown said.
Mud Hens second baseman Kevin Russo hit a double over Andy LaRoche's head into left field, scoring Ben Guez to give Toledo a 4-0 lead in the fourth. That ended Vargas's night for the Bisons.
Herd reliever Buddy Carlyle came in for Vargas and struck out the first batter he faced after 10 pitches. Avisail Garcia then singled into right field to score Mike Cervenak from third, giving Toledo a 5-0 lead with one out in the fourth. Carlyle struck out the next two batters he faced and three of the four in the inning.
With no outs in the fifth inning, Cabrera singled to left and IL home run leader Mauro Gomez hit a high double in the gap between left and center field to put runners on second and third. LaRoche hit a sac-fly to right field to bring in Cabrera and cut the Mud Hens lead to 5-1.
Kevin Pillar hit a ground ball single into left field, scoring Ryan Goins to cut the Mud Hens lead down to 8-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Anthony Gose moved to third on the throw home and eventually scored on a sac-fly by Cabrera as Toledo's lead was cut to five, 8-3.
That was as close as Buffalo would get in the game.
"It was just one of those night you have to chalk up, go home and get some rest and come back for the day game tomorrow and be positive and let (Chien-Ming) Wang do his thing."
Bisons catcher Sean Ochinko went 2-for-4 and Goins also went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Bisons Notes: Claudio Vargas took Ricky Romero's start...Romero came down with an illness yesterday...RHP Bobby Korecky was activated by the Bisons today...RHP Dave Bush was placed on the disabled list...RHP Sergio Santos walked the first batter in the game in the top of the sixth inning...Three of the runs the Bisons pitching staff allowed tonight were unearned...The final game of the series against the Mud Hens in Sunday at 1:05 p.m....The Bisons have not lost a four-game series against Toledo at home since 2003.