Zeuch Shines in Debut as Bisons Win 3-0 over Tides
Since the start of June, the Buffalo Bisons have found success most nights when the pitching and hitting goes hand-in-hand.
That was the case once again Saturday night at Sahlen Field. A strong Triple-A debut from starting pitcher T.J. Zeuch and timely plays in the eighth inning led the Herd to a 3-0 victory over the Norfolk Tides. Now victors in 13 of their last 16 games, the Herd also recorded their fifth consecutive series win since taking two of three games at home against Lehigh Valley from June 7-9.
Hanging on to a 1-0 lead thanks to Patrick Kivlehan's solo home run to left centerfield off Luis Gonzalez in the fourth inning, the Herd broke through in the eighth with timely hitting and working the count against Tides reliever Zack Muckenhirn. After Socrates Brito and Anthony Alford had back-to back base hits and Jonathan Davis' intentional walk, Reese McGuire brought in the insurance run with one out when he drew a walk with the bases loaded, allowing Brito to score for the 2-0 lead. The Bisons continued to produce when Richard Urena reached base on a fielder's choice to second base, leading Alford to cross home plate for the 3-0 lead.
On the mound, Zeuch showed why he was Toronto's first round pick in the MLB Draft three years ago. After starting the 2019 season on the IL followed by a brief stay with Dunedin (A-Adv) before being promoted to Buffalo, the 6'7" right-hander allowed just two hits in 5.2 innings of work - none coming after the second inning - on 93 pitches (59 strikes). Zeuch retired 10 straight batters beginning in the third inning before walking the Tides' Austin Wynns with two outs in the sixth - his final batter of the night.
Zeuch also had four strikeouts in the victory, three coming consecutively with Wynns to end the third and Ryan Mountcastle and Christopher Bostick to start the fourth. Zeuch also threw a 10-pitch frame in the second inning and an 11-pitch inning in the fifth inning.
One of the highlights of the night came in Zeuch's four-inning duel with Mason Williams. The Tides right-fielder hit six foul balls before the 11-pitch at-bat ended in a ground-out to Urena at second base.
Behind the plate, McGuire helped prevent the Tides from getting runners in scoring position. In the second inning, first baseman Jordan Patterson threw to McGuire to prevent Mason Williams from scoring from third followed by a line-out in the next at-bat. Then in the third, McGuire fired down to Urena at second to catch Cedric Mullins stealing.
Following Zeuch's exit, the Herd's bullpen once again did its work. In the final 3.1 innings combined, Zach Jackson, Buddy Boshers and Justin Shafer did not allow a hit and struck out a combined five batters to ensure the victory. Shafer earned his sixth save of the season.
BISONS NOTES: Zeuch's appearance on the roster was a result of pitcher Dusty Issacs being moved to the Temporary Inactive List... Through the first three games of this weekend series, the Bisons have outscored the Tides, 6-1... Brito extended his hitting streak to eight straight games with his single in the eighth inning. In this span, the outfielder is now 9 for his last 31 at-bats (.290 average).... Buffalo wraps up their homestand with a 1:05 first pitch against the Tides.... Sean Reid-Foley is set to pitch for the Herd.
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