Toledo Mud Hens player Brendan Ryan (7) lets out a scream as he and teammate Omar Infante (49) combine for the out on Buffalo Bisons player Roemon Fields (37) to turn a double play. BLADE/ANDY MORRISON
Chalk up Buffalo’s 5-2 victory Friday against the Toledo Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field to speed.
The Bisons put together a three-run, seventh-inning rally based on speed to snap Toledo’s three-game winning streak.
“You think of the homers and the game-changing swings that are so popular today, and some of that old-school hit-and-run, bunting and stealing bases kind of is a lost art,” said Mud Hens shortstop Brendan Ryan, who reached base three times in four plate appearances and authored a SportsCenter-worthy double play with second baseman Omar Infante in the third inning.
“I started cheating in on some of those guys just because I didn’t want to give them any easy infield hits. It was impressive, the speed they have over there.”
The score was tied at 2 entering the seventh, and former Bowling Green State University standout Jon Berti got the rally started by lining a shot into the gap in right-center off Myles Jaye, racing to third for a triple.
Roemon Fields hit a check-swing bouncer in front of the plate off reliever Blaine Hardy and beat the throw to first for a single, with Berti holding at third.
Christian Lopes followed by lining a drive into the left-field corner; Berti scored easily, and the speedy Fields scored from first.
“[JaCoby] Jones got the ball right off the wall and got it right to me,” Ryan explained. “I ripped it home, and [Bryan Holaday] made a nice catch — and it wasn’t close.
“[Fields] beat it no problem from first base.”
Lopes took third on a groundout, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Jake Elmore.
The Mud Hens broke on top in the first off Buffalo starter Brett Overholtzer as Infante singled, took second on a two-out single by Jason Krizan, then scored on a double by Holaday.
The Bisons tied the game in the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Lopes, but Toledo regained the lead in the bottom half when Ryan doubled with one out, took third on a groundout by Alex Presley, then scored on a single by Jeimer Candelario.
Buffalo tied the game again in the sixth on a two-out RBI single by Danny Jansen, then broke the game open to make a loser of Jaye, who lost for the sixth time in his past seven starts.
“Jaye was pitching from behind a lot. It felt like every time I looked at the board, the count was 2-1,” Mud Hens manager Mike Rojas said of the right-hander, who allowed nine hits while walking two in his six innings of work. “You can’t pitch from behind like that.
“I thought we made some great defensive plays behind him, but eventually they broke through.”
Meanwhile the Hens offense, which has seemingly made a habit of collecting clutch hits in big moments to win 10 of their first 12 games in August, went just 2 for 8 when batting with a runner in scoring position off Oberholtzer and relievers Tim Mayza and John Stilson, who claimed his second save of the season.
“We had some opportunities with two outs, but in this game we didn’t get the big hit,” Rojas said. “We had our chances, but we came up short.”
NOTES: Before the game, Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris pitched a simulated game at Fifth Third Field. Norris is expected to make several rehab starts for the Mud Hens soon. … Toledo infielder Argenis Diaz went through an extensive workout during batting practice. Rojas said that, barring an overnight setback, Diaz could possibly be activated at some point this weekend. … The Hens sent infielder Kody Eaves to Double-A Erie after Thursday’s contest, a move presumed to open up a roster spot for Diaz. … Friday’s crowd of 9,872 was the 18th sellout at Fifth Third Field this season.