A word of caution to Durham pitching: The leadoff and cleanup slots in Torey Lovullo’s lineup tonight are labeled, “Explosive, Handle with Care!”
The Bulls found out last night how dangerous “T.N.T.” – that’s Trevor and Todd – can be at any given time.
Since being called up from Double-A Akron on July 25, Trevor Crowe has been nothing short of spectacular for the Herd. Last night, he continued his six-game hitting streak (11-30, .367) by going 3 for 6 with two runs, two homeruns and four RBI.
Crowe also penciled his name in the Bisons record books by hitting a home run from both the left and the right side of the plate. The last Bison to accomplish that feat was Enrique Wilson, who did so on August 31, 1997 in an 8-5 win over Nashville. In seven total games with the Herd, Crowe is hitting .324 with four homeruns and seven RBI.
Not to be outdone, Todd Linden smashed a pair of 3-run blasts and collected 6RBI in the Bisons lopsided win. The last Bisons batter to drive in six RBI was Ryan Mulhern during a 7-inning tilt against Columbus April 16, 2007 when the Bisons crushed the Clippers 17-1 in central Ohio.
Linden’s homer in the ninth also helped the Bisons shuffle the record books. The last time two or more hitters homered twice in one game, July 2, 2004 during a 16-2 win over Syracuse at Dunn Tire Park. That night there were three individuals that hit a pair of long balls; Eric Crozier, Jhonny Peralta and Sandy Martinez while Brent Abernathy also hit a lone homerun.
There’s no doubt you can pick up a few “cheap” home runs while in Durham but that is not the case with the blasts we’ve seen from the Bisons during this series in Durham. All eight homeruns in the series have been legit and have helped raise the Herd’s team batting average to .250 since the trip started.
TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Buffalo Bisons take on the Durham Bulls in the final game of a four-game series from Durham Bulls Athletic Park (7:05 p.m.). The Herd can earn the series sweep tonight following Thursday’s 12-2 victory over the Bulls. The Bisons are currently 5-2 on an eight-game roadtrip that began with a four-game split in Charlotte. On the mound today for the Herd is LHP Zach Jackson. The southpaw last pitched on Sunday in Charlotte and allowed just two hits and no runs to earn his second win as a Bison. Durham will counter with RHP Ben Hendrickson.
TODAY’S STARTER: Zach Jackson
-Last Game: 7/27 @CHA: (W, 6.0IP, 2H, 2K), Bisons’ 5-0 Win.
-2008 w/Bisons: (2-0, 1.08)(6G, 2GS, 16.2IP, 9H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 12K).
-2008 w/ Nashville: (1-5, 7.85)(22G, 6GS 57.1IP, 61H, 54R, 50ER, 18BB, 34K).
-2007 w/ Nashville: (11-10, 4.46)(29G, 28GS, 169.2IP, 184H, 95R, 84ER, 64BB, 123K)
-2007 w/ Nashville: 1st in starts (28), innings (169.2), strikeouts (123).
-Originally a first round draft pick by Toronto in 2004.
-Acquired in trade with Milwaukee on July 7, 2008
GETTING COMFORTABLE: In six games with the Bisons, LHP Zach Jackson has proven to be a solid pitching option for the Herd. The lefty has been used in both the bullpen (four relief appearances) and as a starter (two starts). In both roles combined, Jackson has allowed just two earned runs in 16.2 innings. In his last three games, the southpaw is 1-0 with a 0.82ERA (11.0IP).
BIG FOUR: After defeating Durham 12-2 Thursday, the Herd is now 5-1 in its last six games. The recent success can be attributed largely to some strong hitting by several players. Four Bisons, Michael Aubrey, Trevor Crowe, Morgan Ensberg and Brad Snyder, all enter tonight’s contest with hitting streaks of three games or more. In the current series with Durham, the quartet has a combined average of .397 (23-58) with six home runs and 18RBI (16R, 4 2B, 3 3B, 5BB, 2SB).
BISONS BITS: The Bisons currently rank third in the International League in team ERA with a 3.82 mark… OF Todd Linden has reached base safely in 21 of his last 22 games. Since July 7, Linden is 28 for 82 (.341, 8 2B, 4HR, 18RBI)… Linden’s six RBI last night were the most by a Bison in 2008.