News & Notes: Game 27

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TODAY’S GAME: This afternoon, the Buffalo Bisons host the Norfolk Tides for the second game of a four-game series at Coca-Cola Field (1:05 p.m.). Buffalo struck first in the series with a 4-1 victory last night thanks to eight solid innings from RHP Brandon Knight and two RBI from OF Fernando Martinez. After this series, the homestand will continue on Tuesday with a four-game set against the Gwinnett Braves.

STARTING STRONG: The Bisons rotation has been the strength of the team of late. Since April 4, Herd starts have combined to go 3-3 with a 2.17ERA in nine starts. The group has struck out 39 and allowed just 42 hits and eight walks over 54.0 innings of work. The stretch includes a complete game from RHP Dillon Gee on May 2 vs. Louisville, a nine-strikeout performance by RHP Brandon Knight on May 3 and eight innings of one-run ball by Knight in last night’s victory over the Tides.

A NEW CLOSER: RHP Elmer Dessens has notched saves in back-to-back games for the Bisons. The veteran pitched 1-2-3 ninth innings in Thursday’s victory in Lehigh Valley and last night against the Tides. Dessens’ last previous save was July 4, 2006 while he was a member of the Kansas City Royals. Dessens had 10 career saves in over 1,800 professional innings before 2009.

EXTRA, EXTRA: OF Fernando Martinez continues to battle former Bisons MVP Todd Linden atop the IL hitting charts. Both sluggers doubled last night, so the two remain tied for the most doubles (12) and extra-base hits (17) in the International League. On the Bisons, Martinez has now pulled even with OF Jesus Feliciano for the top batting average (.300).

TRUST YOUR GLOVE: The Bisons have played four consecutive errorless games. The team now sports a .983 fielding percentage, the second-best mark in the International League. The Herd has committed an IL-low 16 errors this season. INF Argenis Reyes leads all second basemen with a .988 fielding pct.

SMOOTH CRIMINALS: C Robinson Cancel collected his third stolen base of the season last night. As a team, the Bisons have been safe in their last 16 steal attempts dating back to April 16. On the year, the Bisons have stolen 19 bases in 21 attempts (90%).

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