Through the first three innings, Bisons starter Sean-Reid Foley was in a groove, allowing only one hit against his first 10 batters on only 31 pitches. Then, the fourth inning happened.
With Trayce Thompson's grand slam over the left field screen as the exclamation point, the Columbus Clippers went out in front and won the rubber match, 6-3, Sunday afternoon at Sahlen Field in front of a crowd of 10,225.
His 24th home run and now at 55 RBI on the season, Thompson's contribution capped off the frame that started with consecutive singles from Daniel Johnson, Brandon Barnes and Bobby Bradley - the latter a RBI single to left. After Ryan Flaherty walked to load the bases with no outs, a single from Ka'ai Tom that dropped into shallow center brought home Barnes for the 2-0 lead followed by Thompson's hit three pitches later.
Despite their six-run, six-hit outburst in the fourth, the Clippers cooled down for the remainder of the game against Reid-Foley and the Bisons bullpen, recording only two more hits and none after the sixth inning. In the fifth, Reid-Foley allowed one more hit and recorded his last two of six strikeouts on the day.
Meanwhile at the plate, the Bisons had a slow start before making things interesting in the sixth inning thanks to big plays from Richard Urena and Bo Bichette.
With Patrick Kivlehan on base after being walked by reliever Henry Martinez, Urena put the Herd on the scoreboard with a two-run home-run just over the top of the 325-foot sign in left field to trim Columbus' lead to 6-2. His fourth home run of the season, Urena additionally had singles in the second and seventh innings for his fifth three-hit game of the season and 15th multi-game of the year. Then, after Reese McGuire reached base on a throwing error to maintain the momentum, Bichette went to work moments later.
With two outs , Bichette sent the ball to the right-center gap for an RBI triple, cutting Columbus' lead in half, 6-3. However, the Herd left too many opportunities on the table late in the game to complete the comeback. For consecutive nights and the fifth time this year, the Herd left 13 men stranded on base and were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
The Herd had one final chance to tie or go-ahead in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded before reliever John Edwards caused Rowdy Tellez - the hero in Friday's series opener - to pop-out to third baseman Adam Rosales.
In the loss, Tayler Saucedo and Jason Adam had a solid performance from the seventh onward. Saucedo struck out three of the five batters he faced while Adam struck out three of his four batters to prevent the Clippers from scoring.
Danny Salazar struck out six batters in 3.1 innings in the start for the Clippers. Josh Smith then earned his seventh win of the season as he allowed one hit, struck out two batters and walked another two in his 1.2 innings.
BISONS NOTES: With the performance, Urena has now reached base via walk or hit in 7 of his last 8 games and has 9 RBI in 19 games this month… Andy Burns extended his hitting streak to seven games with his double in the fourth. In his first game since July 18, the infielder is now 8 of 23 (.347) during this span... Reese McGuire now has a 5-game hitting streak with his lone single in the second… As a pitching staff, the Herd struck out 12 batters… Following the league-wide off day Monday, the Herd continue their push towards the postseason with three-game series against Charlotte and then Durham. Buffalo then concludes the home portion of their schedule for the month of July with a two-game set against Rochester.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.