Louisville at Buffalo: Series Review

The Bisons played the Bats just five days ago and capped a 3-1 series victory with one of two come from behind wins Tuesday.

Following at 1-3 start to the an eight-game roadtrip, the Bisons travel to Louisville, KY and begin a four-game series Monday night. Buffalo is 7-9 on the road this season and dropped their first four-game series of the season leaving Indianapolis.

Buffalo is 54-46 against Louisville sicne returning to the International League in 1998.

5/1: BUF 1, LOU 0
Lefty Bobby Livingston tossed eight shutout innings, facing just two batters over the minimum as the Bisons shutout the Bats, 1-0, Saturday night.

The Herd has now won three straight and improved to 14-9 on the season.

The southpaw retired the first nine batters he faced with three strike outs. Bats’ centerfielder Chris Burke was the first to get on base when he singled to lead off the fourth inning, but Livingston induced three consecutive groundouts to end that frame.

The only run the Bisons would need came in the third inning. Jesus Feliciano extended his hit streak to 10 games with a soft liner into centerfield with two outs. Mike Jacobs then ripped a grounder over the first base bag and into the right field corner for a RBI-triple.

Prior to the game, the Bisons activated Elmer Dessens of the disabled list and released Travis Blackley. Dessens had missed eight games with a left hamstring strain.

Elmer Dessens pitched the ninth inning for Buffalo and recorded his third save of the season.

5/2: BUF 6, LOU 4
First place belongs to the Buffalo Bisons.

The Herd took sole possession of the top spot in the International League North division with a thrilling 6-4, 10-inning victory over the Louisville Bats on Sunday afternoon from Coca-Cola Field. Chris Carter’s two-run walk-off home run capped a dramatic comeback as Buffalo collected its fifth consecutive victory.

The last time the Herd was alone in first place was July 16, 2007 when they were 51-38.

Buffalo’s climb to the top on Sunday wasn’t easy, especially as the Bats took a 4-2 lead in the top of the 10th inning on Juan Francisco’s two-run home run. Surprisingly, it was a pair of hustle plays that got the Herd’s potent offense started.

With one out, Jason Pridie chopped a two-hopper to first base, but Louisville’s Drew Sutton hesitated for just a split second. Instead of flipping to the pitcher, Sutton went to the bag himself, but was beaten by the speedy Bisons’ centerfield.

The next batter was Bisons shortstop Andy Green. Even though he doubled in each of his two previous at-bats, Green took advantage of a winded Jon Adkins and dropped a perfect bunt single in front of the Louisville closer.

That set the stage for the big bats in the Bisons’ order. After Mike Jacobs advanced the runners over with a groundout, Mike Hessman ripped a broken-bat single off the glove of Francisco at third. Pridie scored easily and Green reached his hand over the left-foot block of catcher Wilkin Castillo to tag home plate and tie the game.

After Adkins was immediately ejected for arguing the call, Carter hit a 2-1 slider from Chad Reineke into the Heron’s Landing Party Deck for the walk-off winner.

The game was knotted at two through nine innings as the Louisville Bats plated solo runs in the second and sixth innings. Hessman got the Bisons on the board with a two-run blast in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Hessman now has eight home runs and an International League-best 28RBI.

Dillon Gee started for the Herd and made the big pitches when he needed to. The righty allowed 10 hits but only two runs as Louisville stranded 10 bases runners. He walked one and struck out five.

Gee helped himself out with his glove. With a runner on first in the fifth inning, the starter fielded a grounder from Chris Valaika behind his back before turning a 1-6-3 doubleplay.

5/3: LOU 20, BUF 7
Monday night at Coca-Cola Field was billed as the first look for Buffalo sports fans of mega-prospect Aroldis Chapman. It was, however, the Bats’ offense that stole the show.

Louisville scored more runs than any opponent ever has at the downtown home of the Bisons by plating 20 runs in a 20-7 victory over Buffalo. The Bats scored in each of the first eight innings, including a six-run fifth inning and five-run sixth.

Ironically, it was Chapman’s bat that did more damage than his 100-mph fastball. The Cuban-defector doubled in a run in the second and singled again in a four-run third inning that gave Louisville a 6-0 edge. He walked and scored a run in the fourth to help his team build a 7-0 advantage.

On the mound, Chapman topped the 100-mph mark four times in racking up eight punchouts. The Bisons, however, caught up to the speed with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Omir Santos, Ruben Tejada, pitcher Adam Pettyjohn and Andy Green all had RBI-hits in the frame.

After letting the Herd get back into the game, the Bats scored nine runs over the next two frames in a record-setting performance.

Chapman got the win, but it wasn’t easy. By allowing six runs in five innings, he was touched up for twice as many earned runs than he allowed in his first four starts combined.

Chris Carter finished the game 3-3 with a walk. He scored three of Buffalo’s seven

5/4: BUF 5, LOU 4
The Bisons plated two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning -including the game-winner on a wild pitch- to storm back for their sixth win on their completed eight-game homestand with a 5-4 walk-off victory over the Louisville Bats, on Tuesday night.

The Herd used dramatics to re-capture first place in the International League North division.

After falling behind 4-3 in the top of the ninth, the Bisons came roaring back in the bottom half of the inning. Chris Carter started the rally as he hit the first pitch from Louisville closer Jon Adkins into left field. Fernando Martinez followed with a broken-bat liner into right and Ruben Tejada loaded the bases with yet another single.

Jesus Feliciano lined a pitch right off of Adkins’ glove, allowing the tying run to score. Then with Jason Pridie at the plate, Adkins uncorked a wild pitch to allow Martinez to race home with the game-winning run.

R.A. Dickey started for Buffalo and worked eight innings. He allowed two runs on six hit and struck out seven, but did not earn a decision.

After Tuesday night’s performance, Dickey has not issued a walk in 118 batters. The last time he walked a batter was in the first inning on April 19 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Tuesday’s win was the Bisons third walk-off victory of the year, they had five in all of 2009.

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