News & Notes: Game 59
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TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Buffalo Bisons host the Durham Bulls in the third game of a four-game set at Coca-Cola Field (7:05 p.m.). The Herd is now up 2-0 in the set after an outstanding performance by LHP Jonathon Niese, who held Durham scoreless in his 7.1 innings of Buffalo’s 1-0 win last night. Following this series, the Bisons will travel to Syracuse for a three-game in two day set with the Chiefs.
OH NELLY: RHP Nelson Figueroa will take the mound tonight in search of his third consecutive win. Figueroa is coming off two terrific starts in which he went seven-plus innings allowing only one earned run in each outing. The 35-year-old has been the Herd’s most consistent starter this season by throwing at least six innings in seven of his nine starts. Figueroa leads the Bisons pitching staff with six quality starts.
FEELIN’ SULLY: OF Cory Sullivan has averaged .366 (26-71) in his last 18 games. The outfielder has nine multi-hit efforts since May 22 as well as 10 runs scored. The stretch has raised his average 67 points from .202 to .269. Sullivan’s 47 hits are second on the Bisons club (OF Jesus Feliciano, 56).
DONE LIKE DESSENS: RHP Elmer Dessens picked up his ninth save of the year last night by throwing 1.2 innings of scoreless relief while striking out four. The veteran’s nine saves are tied for seventh in the International League, four behind leader RHP Jim Miller of Norfolk.
ONE’S ENOUGH: Buffalo’s 1-0 last night was their second such win in the last seven games. The Herd beat Norfolk, 1-0, on June 4 as four Bisons pitchers combined on a three-hitter. Buffalo had two 1-0 wins all of last season.
NIESE-LY DONE: LHP Jonathon Niese turned in his best start of the season last night to earn his first win of the 2009 campaign. The southpaw threw 7.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out seven. The Mets #1 pitching prospect took a no-hitter into the sixth inning when OF Rashad Eldridge hit a clean, two-out double down the right field line. Niese lowered his ERA from 7.36 to 6.31 with his performance last night.