(bisons.com)- It was a rough day on the scoreboard for the Bisons on Sunday, but the team is more concerned about what happened on the mound.
Ricky Romero, Rob Rasmussen and Neil Wagner all had early exits because of injuries in an 8-5 defeat to the Syracuse Chiefs at Coca-Cola Field.
Romero left three tosses into the fourth inning with what is being described as a right leg strain. Rasmussen, the second reliever used in the game, was hit in the left arm with a line drive off the bat of Destin Hood that ended the Syracuse seventh. Wagner felt some forearm tightness just after throwing a wild pitch in the ninth that gave the Chiefs the game-winning run.
All three pitchers will be evaluated further tomorrow.
Three innings into the game, the afternoon's outlook was as bright as the sunshine above Coca-Cola Field. The Herd tallied five times in the third for the 5-1 lead. Dan Johnson crushed his team-leading 10th home run of the year three tiers up the Bully Hill Party Deck to drive in three of the runs.
But in the fourth, Romero fell down 2-0 to Chiefs third baseman Brandon Laird before bouncing his third offering into the dirt. On the pitch, Romero appeared to follow through awkwardly on his plant leg. That forced Herd skipper Gary Allenson to go to his bullpen.
Syracuse cut the lead to 5-2 before Jhonatan Solano singled home two more runs in the seventh off Rasmussen. Hood followed with the line drive that knocked the Bisons southpaw to the ground. After remaining motionless for a few moments, Rasmussen did hop up and walk off the field under his own power.
After the game, Rasmussen did said he was fine.
Nursing the 5-4 lead, the Bisons turned to Wagner in the ninth. The righty allowed two seeing-eye singles before Steven Souza Jr. doubled home the game-tying run. After an intentional walk to load the bases, Wagner struck out Solano and Hood in his vintage overpowering style. But he then issued the wild pitch, and initially slowed by the tightness he felt following his delivery, was late covering the plate.
Laird added two runs of insurance after Ryan Rowland-Smith relieved Wagner with a line drive single to left.
The Bisons had been 21-1 when leading after eight innings this season.