June 6, 2013
Right-hander Chad Jenkins made the first Triple-A start of his career and Mauro Gomez hit his team-leading 15th home run, but the Buffalo Bisons fell to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 5-3 on Wednesday night at Coca-Cola Field.
Optioned by the Blue Jays to Buffalo on June 1, Jenkins struggled in his first appearance with the Herd after starting out well. The Chattanooga native cruised through two scoreless innings to open the game, but issued a leadoff walk in the third to IronPigs right fielder Steve Susdorf, who came around to score on a Michael Martinez home run that quickly put the Bisons down 2-0. One plus was that Jenkins had three swinging strikeouts through three innings, but a leadoff double and a pair of RBI singles in the fourth tacked on another pair of runs for Lehigh Valley.
The trouble continued for Jenkins in the fifth, when Martinez singled to open the frame and stole second base shortly after. After walking the next batter he faced, Jenkins ran into a bunt single from Pete Orr that loaded the bases with nobody out. A fielding error from Bisons first baseman Luis Jimenez kept the bases loaded and allowed the IronPigs’ fifth run to score, but Jenkins induced a quick groundout and a double play to limit the damage to just the one run.
Overall, Jenkins took the loss after allowing five earned runs on six hits in five innings of work, with a pair of walks and three strikeouts. He threw 82 pitches (51 for strikes) and in trademark fashion induced nine groundouts to two air outs.
It was only Jenkins’ second minor league start of the season and fifth start overall in 2013. The 25-year-old dealt with a strained lat muscle in spring training and appeared in extended spring games before making his first start of the season for New Hampshire on May 6. He was called up by Toronto shortly after and made three starts for the Blue Jays, allowing six earned runs on 18 hits in 15 innings of work.
Jenkins was called up to Double-A New Hampshire back on June 11, 2011, and made his Triple-A debut with the Bisons nearly two years later to the day. After 36 starts in total for the Fisher Cats, it will be interesting to see how Jenkins fares in the International League with somewhat of a fresh start.