News & Notes: Game 38
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TODAY’S GAME: This afternoon, the Buffalo Bisons face the Columbus Clippers in the first game of a four-game series from Coca-Cola Field (1:05 p.m.). The Bisons had yesterday off to return home from a 1-3 series in Pawtucket against the Red Sox. Today’s game is the start of an eight-game homestand as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs will visit Buffalo from May 25-28.
OLD FRIENDS, NEW FOE: The Clippers come to town for the first time as the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Led by former Buffalo Bisons player and manager Torey Lovullo, the Clippers roster features 16 former Bisons players, including Buffalo’s 2007 Most Valuable Pitcher LHP Jeremy Sowers and 2008 Bisons All-Star LHP Rich Rundles.
TWICE AS NICE: OF Fernando Martinez belted a pair of home runs in Tuesday’s loss, his team-leading sixth and seventh homers of the season. The only other Bison to homer twice in a game this year is INF/OF Nick Evans, who went deep twice on April 16 against Scranton/WB. Martinez also went deep on Monday, making him the first Bisons player to homer in back-to-back games since OF Jason Cooper homered in three straight, May 20-24, 2008.
MORE F-MART: With his two-homer game, OF Fernando Martinez is back on top of the International League with 22 extra-base hits. His 13 doubles are tied for the 2nd-most in the IL while his two triples are tied for 5th-most. Martinez leads the Bisons in all three triple crown categories, hitting .287 with seven home runs and 23RBI.
SOLID DEBUT: C/INF Javier Valentin’s Bisons career has gotten off to a great start. The veteran has six hits in six games, averaging .316 (6-19) with a home run, four RBI and three walks. Four of his six hits have driven in runs for the Bisons. Valentin hit .256 (33-129) with four home runs and 19RBI in 94 games with the Cincinnati Reds in 2008.
ON THE CHARTS: RHP Brandon Knight is tied for 2nd in the International League with 46 strikeouts. Even more impressive is those 46 punchouts have come in only 44.0 innings of work in seven starts. Knight has struck out seven or more batters in five of his seven starts.