News & Notes: Game 81

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TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Buffalo Bisons take on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in the first game in a two-game series from Coca-Cola Field (7:05 p.m.). The Bisons are coming off a split of a four-game series against Rochester from Frontier Field. Following this two-game set, the Herd will travel to Pawtucket and Scranton-Wilkes Barre for a couple of two-game series’ before next week’s All-Star Break.

vs. THE YANKEES: The Bisons are 1-5 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. The Herd was swept in a four-game series by the Yanks at Coca-Cola Field, April 13-16. The teams then split a two-game set at PNC Field, April 21-22. Buffalo holds the 92-89 (.508) advantage in the series since returning to the International League in 1998.

TAKAHASHI TO START: LHP Ken Takahashi will make his first start for the Bisons tonight. The veteran has pitched nine games out of the bullpen for the Herd so far this year, posting a 0.95ERA in 19.0 innings of work. However, the southpaw is no stranger to the starting role. During his long career in Japan, Takahashi started 160 games for the Hiroshima Carp, including 20 starts in each of the past two seasons.

HOT HITTER: INF Javier Castillo has the team’s top current hit streak. The infielder has hit in 10 straight games, averaging .421 (16-38) since June 26. Castillo has posted five multi-hit performances during the hot stretch as well as three doubles, two home runs and four RBI.

FEELIN’ SULLY: The hits keep coming for OF Cory Sullivan. The outfielder went 1-3 yesterday with one run and a walk. In his last 11 games, Sullivan is averaging .419 (18-43) with 10 runs scored, four doubles and six RBI. It has now been almost two months since Sullivan went hitless in consecutive starts (May 8-9, 0-7). Since the start of June, Sullivan has averaged .342 (39-114).

IL’S TOP PITCHER: The International League announced yesterday that LHP Jonathon Niese was the IL’s Pitcher of the Week for the period of June 29 – July 5. Niese was 1-0 with a 1.06ERA in his two starts last week, including a nine-inning complete-game shutout of Rochester on July 5.

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