This afternoon, the Buffalo Bisons host the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in the final game of a four-game series at Dunn Tire Park (1:05 p.m.). The Herd is in position for the sweep, having won the first three games of the set by a combined score of 25-7. The Bisons are 5-2 on the eight-game homestand that will conclude today. Taking the hill for the Herd is LHP John Halama. The southpaw allowed just two hits in seven shutout innings on Saturday against Pawtucket in a 1-0 victory. Lehigh Valley will counter with LHP J.A. Happ.
TODAY’S STARTER: John Halama
-Last Game: 8/16 vPAW: (W, 7.0IP, 2H, BB, K), Bisons’ 1-0 win.
-2008 w/ Bisons: (8-4, 4.00)(13GS, 2CG, 87.2IP, 93H, 43R, 39ER, 13BB, 37K).
-2008 w/ So. Maryland (IND): (4-1, 1.88)(8GS, 56.2IP, 47H, 13R, 12ER, 8BB, 48K).
-2007 w/ Long Island (IND): (8-10, 4.14)(26GS, 167.1IP, 201H, 94R, 77ER, 44BB, 93K).
-Career 56-48 with a 4.65ERA in 262 Major League Games (911.0IP, 492K).
-Originally a 23rd round pick (640th overall) of Houston in 1994 amateur draft.
-Signed as a free agent on June 7, 2008.
ON HALAMA’S BACK: LHP John Halama has thrown five innings in all 13 of his starts with the team and has worked at least seven frames in six of his last seven performances. Last Saturday, he yielded just two singles in seven innings to defeat the PawSox for his team-leading eighth win of the season. Halama has been particularly tough at home with a 4-0 record, a 2.23ERA and two complete games in five starts at Dunn Tire Park.
REHAB UPDATES: C Victor Martinez will start today and is expected to catch all nine innings. The two-time American League All-Star went 1-2 with a walk and a pair of RBI on Tuesday night. DH Travis Hafner is not scheduled to play today. Pronk went 1-2 with two RBI last night and is now 3-5 with two doubles, two RBI and two walks in two games with Buffalo.
EVERYDAY ANDY: The Bisons can count on INF Andy Cannizaro to produce just about every game. Cannizaro has hit in 14 of 15 games since joining the Herd and has failed to reach base in a game just once. In his last three games, he has hit .417 (5-12) with five RBI. Overall with the Herd, Cannizaro is hitting .302 (16-53) with two home runs and 11RBI.
HOT HITTER: OF Todd Linden has hit in 10 of his last 11 games with a .366 (15-41) batting average since August 7. He has added six doubles, four home runs and eight RBI in those 11 games. Last night, Linden hit his team-leading 13th home run of the season. He also ranks second on the team with 47RBI, with 23 of them coming since the All-Star Break.