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Bisons' thunder gets stolen by Saints

By: Brayden Peters

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A hot start by the Buffalo Bisons fizzled out, as they fell to the St. Paul Saints 7-4. The Bisons were up 4-2 after five innings and proceeded to give up five unanswered runs.

"We're making some decisions that are changing momentum in the game," Bisons manager Casey Candaele said. "And those are usually not good."

Buffalo got out to a very hot start in the first inning. Leo Jimenez kicked things off with a home run, marking his fifth homer of the season. It was a good way to start against a team with a lot of solid pitching talent and depth.

"You got to give some credit to their pitching staff," Jimenez said. "But you know, at the end of the day, that's what we prepare for. You know, take good at-bats and make great things happen."

Jimenez watches his home run occur on May 5 2024. Photo Credit: Buffalo Bisons Baseball

Addison Barger and Brian Serven picked up two more runs before the Saints got the third out. This was thanks to both batters and Will Robertson recording singles, in which Serven and Robertson were credited with RBIs.

The Saints weren't able to respond until the third inning, after Diego A. Castillo batted in Anthony Prato on a double to cut the lead to two runs. Austin Martin proceeded to bat in Castillo on a sac fly, making it a 3-2 game in favor of the Bisons.

The Bisons continued to roll on offense, as Riley Tirotta batted in Orelvis Martinez to give Buffalo a 4-2 lead. This was the last inning that the Bisons would record a run, as their offense lost their groove. Between the fourth and fifth innings, they only mustered out a single and couldn't get anyone home.

This was thanks to St. Paul's relief pitchers. Josh Winder, who filled in for starting pitcher Caleb Baragar, ended the day with three strikeouts and giving up one hit in two innings pitched. The Saints took advantage of Buffalo's batting issues, recording three runs in the sixth inning to give St. Paul a 5-4 lead. It was their first lead of the game.

One of the only players that continued to shine for Buffalo was pitcher Paolo Espino. In six innings pitched, he struck out four batters while giving up five hits, five runs and one walk.

Barger loads up to throw the ball to first base for an out on May 5 2024. Photo Credit: Buffalo Bisons Baseball

"Paolo pitched very well," Candaele said. "Just had a tough sixth inning, but, you know, we were in the game. We just didn't finish and, you know, we kind of got shoved with their pitching staff late in the game."

St. Paul continued to find success on offense, as they added two more runs to their lead in the eighth inning. As for Buffalo, their batting issues continued. Hobie Harris, former Bisons pitcher who filled in for Winder, froze the Bisons' batters. He recorded five strikeouts and didn't give up any runs or hits in three innings pitched.

The Bisons' defensive performance wasn't pretty. They had four errors on the night, one of which helped give the Saints their fifth run of the game in the sixth inning.

"It's not good," Barger said. "We're trying and we're doing our work every day. So, it's part of the game."

With the win, the Saints extend their series lead to 3-1. Also, they improve to 21-26 and are eighth in the IL West. As for Buffalo, they drop to 26-23 and are third in the IL East. The Bisons will look to bounce back when they host St. Paul tomorrow at 6:05 p.m.

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