Last updated: June 10. 2013 12:46AM - 2878 Views

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MOOSIC – The norm for Chris Bootcheck when pitching at PNC Field has been to steal the show and cruise to a victory.

While the 34-year-old threw well on Sunday going at least six innings for the fourth time in five starts at home, Buffalo starter Dave Bush was a little better holding the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre offense to just two hits in six innings of work as the RailRiders lost for the 13th time in their last 19 home games falling 4-1 to the Bisons. Buffalo, which has been good on the road all season, improved to 20-12 on the road for the best mark in the International League.

Bootcheck, who has been at his best this season following a RailRiders loss stopping four losing streaks prior to Sunday, was sharp again after a tough first inning. But it wasn’t enought as the team lost its third straight.

The right-handed Bootcheck attacks hitters and doesn’t walk many batters as was presented by his allowing just 17 walks in 55 1-3 innings prior to Sunday. So the Bisons went after him early in the first inning as hitters swung early in the count and connected for four extra-base hits, including three doubles and a two-run home run from Mauro Gomez to take a 4-0 lead. All four hits came on the first, second or third pitch of their respective at-bats.

“They’re an aggressive team and you don’t want to be too fine early in the game and you want them to swing the bats to beat you and they came out swinging it,” Bootcheck said. “I didn’t get away with any mistakes.”

So while Bootcheck allowed four runs on five hits in the innings, he only needed to throw 19 pitches. On the afternoon Bootcheck lasted seven innings giving up four runs on 10 hits walking just one and fanning four. He threw 105 pitches, 69 of them for strikes. He performed well the rest of the game allowing just five hits the rest of the way after changing his approach to hitters by “pitching backwards” he said.

“There were small victories in (going six shutout after the first). After the first the two things that were on my mind were eat up as many innings as I could to save (bullpen) arms and get the bats back in because we really weren’t out of it at that point,” Bootcheck added.

Meanwhile, Bush – making his first start since May 31 as a spot start replacing the day’s schedule starter Thad Weber who was called up to Toronto prior to the game – was extremely effective. A sixth-inning single by Thomas Neal broke a string of 17 straight batters retired by Buffalo’s Dave Bush. That stretch started after Zoilo Almonte laced a one-out single in the bottom of the first.

Bush did a good job of changing speeds. A prime example of that was when he got two strikes on Almonte in the bottom of the sixth getting ahead using fastballs then pulling the string and getting Almonte on a 68 MPH breaking ball for one of his five strikeouts. It was also the last batter faced.

“He just did a good job mixing up the pitches,” Neal said about Bush. “He kept us off-balance working in and out and when you got a guy like that, a veteran guy who kinda nibbling in his spots you just have to be really patient and swing at good pitches. And today I don’t think we did the best that we could at that.

“But it’s over with we just have to move on, move forward and out together some better at-bats (today).”

The RailRiders offense refrained from being shutout for the third time this season getting a run on a sacrifice fly by Josh Bell in the ninth. Their four hits were scattered throughout the game coming in different innings. SWB didn’t advance a runner past first base until the ninth inning. The last frame is when the team finally put a little rally together. Almonte led off with a single and Ronnier Mustelier walked. When Dan Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice, ousting Almonte at third, Mustelier moved to third on a throwing error to set up Bell’s sac fly.

Bisons 4, RailRiders 1



Gose cf`4`0`0`0`Neal dh`4`0`1`0

Goins ss`3`1`1`0`Almonte cf`4`0`2`0

Jimenez 1b`5`1`2`1`Mustelier lf`3`1`0`0

Gomez dh`5`1`2`2`Johnson 1b`4`0`1`0

Negrych 3b`4`1`2`0`Bell 3b`3`0`0`1

Velez lf`4`0`0`0`Mesa rf`4`0`0`0

Lngrhns rf`4`0`1`1`Maruszak ss`3`0`0`0

Ochinko c`4`0`0`0`Farnham c`2`0`0`0

McCoy 2b`3`0`2`0`Gonzalez 2b`3`0`0`0




E – Farnham (3 catcher’s interference), Negrych (3). LOB—BUF 9, SWB 5. TEAM RISP – BUF 3-for-10, SWB 0-for-1. 2B— Goins (10), Jimenez (8), Negrych (2). HR – Gomez (16). SB – McCoy 2 (13). CS – Gose (6). SF – Bell. GIDP – BUF 0, SWB 0.




Bush(W, 7-4) `6`2`0`0`0`5

Carreno `2`1`0`0`1`3



Bootcheck (L, 5-2) ` 7`10`4`4`2`5

Daley `2`0`0`0`1`4

Umpires— Home, Jon Byrne; First, Adam Hamari; Third, Doug Vines

T— 2:39. A— 7,154 (10,000)

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