After inclement weather canceled most part of the Bisons' season-opening homestand, the Herd took the diamond for the first time in a week but lost 5-2, Friday night in Norfolk.
A combined effort by the Tides' pitching staff shut down the Buffalo offense, holding the Bisons to just six total hits while Norfolk slashed 15 hits on their way to the win.
Norfolk starter Tim Melville picked up the win and kept the Bisons mostly in check, delivering six.0 innings of work while punching out three and allowing just one earned run. Former Herd reliever Josh Edgin was also effective in relief for the Tides', throwing 1.1 innings and striking out three Bison's hitters. Tides' leadoff hitter, Joey Rickard, was perfect in all five at bats in the game, collecting each hit by way of a single.
Fresh off activation from the disabled list, Dalton Pompey got the Bisons on the board in the top half of the third with a solo home run to left field in just his second at bat of the season. That cut an early Tides' lead to two runs, 3-1.
Down three runs in the fourth inning, the Bisons countered with a two-out rally, loading the bases with a pair of walks drawn by Danny Jansen and Jason Leblebijian. Tim Lopes singled on a sharp grounder that deflected off Melville to load the bases. Pompey, who homered in his previous at bat, worked a 3-2 count, but struck out swinging after fouling the ball into the mitt of Tides' catcher Austin Wynns to put an end to the threat.
Even with Melville's night finished, the Bisons were still unable to drum up consistent offense to scratch crooked numbers across the plate until the top of the seventh. Much like the fourth inning, the Bisons planted two runners on base with the one and two hitters, Pompey and Dwight Smith Jr. Both were dealt walks to put a Buffalo runner in scoring position for the first time in three turns at bat. A double steal placed both Pompey and Smith Jr. in a prime spot to score.
Bisons' skipper Bobby Meacham's gamble payed off after Buffalo cashed in on its second run of the game with an RBI single by Rowdy Tellez that got through on the ground into right field bringing home Pompey from third base.
The Bisons started their half of the ninth with two men on after Pompey, who led off the inning, was plunked by a pitch. A wild pitch pushed him to second. With no one out, Buffalo brought the tying run to the plate when Smith Jr. drew his second walk of the game, however, a similar narrative continued as the Bisons were unable to provide clutch offense. The last-inning hope was foiled when Anthony Alford grounded into a doubleplay and Danny Espinosa grounded out to close the door on the game.
Buffalo now looks to rebound Saturday night as Sam Gaviglio is scheduled to make his second start of the season. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Harbor Park.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.