June 2010

Bisons sweep Syracuse

With a little bit of luck, some timely hitting and the red-hot Lucas Duda, the Bisons powered past the Chiefs, 9-4, Wednesday afternoon from Coca-Cola Field.

Duda homered for the third straight game to snap a 4-4 tie and Buffalo benefited from numerous Syracuse miscues to close out a two-game sweep of their divisional rival.

Duda’s homer rescued the Herd as Syracuse fought back from 4-0 down to tie the game in the fifth inning. The Triple-A rookie led off the bottom of the frame and drove a 2-1 offering from Chiefs’ starter Matt Chico to right-centerfield.

The blast was Duda’s fourth in only 14 games with the Bisons. He hit six homers in 45 games with Double-A Binghamton to start the season.

The Bisons kept the rally going in the fifth inning to break open the game. Mike Cervenak singled and scored two batters later on an RBI-hit from Justin Turner. The game then swung even further in the Herd’s favor as the Chiefs infield allowed Andy Green’s two-out pop up to land on the Coca-Cola Field dirt. Jorge Padilla made the miscue hurt with a booming two-run double off the left field wall.

Syracuse’s defense cost them in the second inning, as well. The Bisons scored two runs when Tobi Stoner and Turner reached on errors and centerfielder Justin Maxwell dropped Padilla’s fly ball.

Buffalo also scored a pair in the first inning on Andy Green’s double-steal of home and a bases-loaded wild pitch.

Stoner (4-7) earned the victory for Buffalo, his first at Coca-Cola Field this season. Stoner allowed four runs in five innings of work.

The victory pulled the Bisons to within 4.5 games of first place in the International League North. Division-leading Scranton/Wilkes-Barre plays Wednesday night in Pawtucket.

BISONS NOTES:Andy Green’s steal of home in the first inning was the Bisons’ first swipe of the plate since Asdrubal Cabrera on August 15, 2006 in Pawtucket…Mike Cervenak reached base all five times he came to the plate with three singles and a pair of walks. The Bisons third baseman also had a stolen base…Jorge Padilla finished the game 3-4 with a pair of doubles and four RBI.

Syracuse at Buffalo: Game 2

Justin Turner, SS
Andy Green, 2B
Jorge Padilla, CF
Mike Jacobs, 1B
Valentino Pascucci, RF
Lucas Duda, LF
Mike Cervenak, 3B
JR House, C
Tobi Stoner, RHP

Boomer Whiting, LF
Justin Maxwell, CF
Chase Lambin, 2B
Kevin Mench, RF
Pete Orr, SS
Leonard Davis, 3B
Chris Duncan, 1B
Jamie Burke, C
Matt Chico, LHP

Syracuse at Buffalo: Game 1

Jason Pridie, CF
Justin Turner, SS
Jorge Padilla, LF
Mike Jacobs, 1B
Fernando Martinez, RF
Mike Cervenak, 3B
Russ Adams, 2B
JR House, C
Dillon Gee, RHP

Boomer Whiting, CF
Leonard Davis, 3B
Chase Lambin, 2B
Jason Botts, LF
Kevin Mench, RF
Pete Orr, SS
Chris Duncan, 1B
Devin Ivany, C
Erik Arnesen, RHP

Advance Scout: Syracuse

The Bisons finished their eight-game roadtrip south, 3-5 against Gwinnett and Charlotte. The roadtrip began with a four-game split in Gwinnett and finished dropping three of four against Charlotte. The Bisons return home for a Thruway Series homestand opening a two-game set against Syracuse and facing Rochester over the final three games.

6/29 7:05 PM: RHP Erik Arnesen (2-3,3.48) vs RHP Dillon Gee (6-5,5.31)
6/30 1:05 PM: LHP Matt Chico (3-3,3.50) vs RHP Tobi Stoner (3-7,5.16)

vs. THE CHIEFS: The Bisons are now 1-5 against their Thruway Series rival this season. Syracuse won the first five games of the season series in 2008 and 2009. Dating back to last season, the Herd is just 5-17 in their last 22 against the Chiefs. Going back to 2008, Buffalo has just five wins in their last 20 games against Syracuse at Coca-Cola Field.

DID YOU KNOW: Three players remain on the active roster from the Opening Day Chiefs lineup (Duncan, Maxwell and Orr).

CAROUSEL: The Chiefs have used 16 different starting pitchers this year. The newest addition to the rotation was Jason Jones, who was signed last month. More Chiefs relievers have made starts this season (3) than there are opening day starting pitchers remaining on the roster (1).

CATCHING UP: Over the eight days, the Chiefs have a 4-4 record in games against Charlotte and Pawtucket. Syracuse has been outscored 32-31 in those games. In the first twenty-one games of the month of June, Syracuseas been outscored 78-65.

THE LAW OF AVERAGES: Syracuse’s batting average against Pawtucket is its worst against any team in the IL North. The Chiefs are batting .251 as a team on the year, but only .226 against Pawtucket. Syracuse is hitting .305 against Rochester, their best against any indivision opponent.

RUN AWAY: The Chiefs 8-1 loss was their most lopsided margin of defeat since May 10th against Louisville. The most Syracuse has been outscored by this season is 11 in a 13-2 loss at Columbus on May 1st.

READY TO SCORE: After an 0-7 day with runners in scoring position Sunday, the Chiefs are now .249 with RISP for the season. Heading into the finale with Pawtucket, Syracuse was 8-46 (17%) with runners in scoring position. The Chiefs went 5-10 (50%) with runners in scoring position Monday during the 9-4 win.

LEONARDO de JUNIO: In the month of June, Leonard Davis has hit all of his seven home runs. He is second in the Nationals farm system with 12 home runs between Double-A Harrisburg and Syracuse.

STREAK SNAPPERS: The Chiefs have still not lost four games in a row. Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Charlotte snapped a three game losing streak. The only other team to not have lost four consecutive is Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Chiefs are 2-0 when having lost three straight.

6/3/10: SYR 7, BUF 1
In front of a packed house at Coca-Cola field, Syracuse Chiefs starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg showed Buffalo why he was worthy of the number one draft pick in the 2009 MLB Entry Draft. Strasburg pitched five masterful innings, allowing only three hits and no runs in his last minor league start. Strasburg showed his famous fastball early and often. Topping off at 99 mph and keeping it in the upper nineties for the majority of the day, Strasburg was able to blow his fastball by the Herd for five strikeouts. Strasburg was able to keep the Herd off balance for the good portion of his start by using his fastball and then mixing it up with his breaking ball which was kept in the low eighties and even reached 79 mph. He was also able to keep the International League’s leader in home runs and RBI, third baseman Mike Hessman in check. Strasburg was able to keep the “Loch-Hess” Monster at bay by striking out Hessman and getting him to fly out in the two at-bats they faced each other. Hessman eventually went 0-4 on the day. Strasburg was able to get run support from his teammates early when second baseman Pete Orr hit a two run home run in the second inning to take the lead, one the Chiefs would not relinquish for the rest of the game. Orr hit his seventh home run of the season on a 3-2 pitch from Bisons starting pitcher Dillon Gee over the right field wall to give the Chiefs a 2-0 early lead. Strasburg was even able to help out his own cause when he singled to center off of Gee in the fifth inning. He was then driven home when Chase Lambin grounded back to the pitcher, allowing Strasburg to score. Gee, the Bisons leader in wins and strikeouts on the season pitched six innings and allowed seven hits in the losing effort. In his six innings of work the Chiefs were able to score five runs on Gee, but due to two errors by Bisons first baseman Mike Jacobs only two runs were earned. Gee had a great command of the strike zone however, by punching out seven batters and improving on his total for strikeouts to 61 for the year. Strasburg left the game after the fifth inning, throwing 89 pitches on the day with 54 of them being for strikes. Strasburg ended his tour through the Minor Leagues with a 4-1 record and a 1.08 ERA in his six starts in Triple A. After Strasburg had left the game the Herd were still unable to produce any offense. The only run the Bisons would score would come in the eighth inning after center fielder Jesus Feliciano hit a two-out double to extend the inning. Feliciano was then driven home by a single from second baseman Justin Turner for his eleventh RBI of the season. Feliciano provided the majority of the offense for the Herd on the day. Feliciano collected two of the five hits the Bisons had as a team as he went 2-4 on the day and improved his league leading batting average to .388.

6/2/10: SYR 6, BUF 3
A long night that featured an hour and 58-minute rain delay, 11 pitchers not named Stephan Strasburg and the ejection of a hurler with seven strikeouts in the fourth inning, the Bisons fell to the Syracuse Chiefs, 6-3. More important than the final score, however, was the players that had to be removed from the Herd line up during the contest -catcher Josh Thole and infielder Daniel Murphy. Thole’s exit came just four batters into the night. Josh Whitesell swung and missed at an offering from Buffalo starter Bobby Livingston and his bat caught the Buffalo backstop upside the head on the follow through. Thole walked off under his own power, but had to be replaced by J.R. House. Then, after seven innings and nearly a two-hour rain delay, Murphy suffered his injury while trying to turn a doubleplay. Syracuse’s Leonard Davis slid hard into second base to break up the play and caught Murphy in the right leg. After getting up onto his feet, Murphy was helped off the field by his teammates. After the game, Bisons manager said Murphy was pretty banged up on the play. He also said that Thole would not start on Thursday, but thinks he’ll be alright. The bizarre twists of the night began in the fourth inning with Bisons starter Bobby Livingston on the mound. With a 1-0 lead, the southpaw had struck out seven of the first 12 batters he faced. Livingston then hit Whitesell with a 77mph curveball and was immediately ejected, even though it appeared that Whitesell openly agreed that he didn’t think the off-speed plunking was intentional. Still, Livingston was forced from the game despite not allowing a ball to reach the outfield in 3.1 innings of work. After the long rain delay, the Chiefs scored three runs in the seventh and eighth innings for the 6-3 win. Syracuse’s Boomer Whiting bases-clearing triple in the eighth provided the game-winning runs.

6/1/10: SYR 4, BUF 1
Pat Misch just keeps delivering quality start after quality start. The southpaw dealt seven strong innings on Tuesday night to lead the Bisons past the Syracuse Chiefs, 4-1. Mike Jacobs and Mike Hessman added home runs as the Herd defeated their Thruway rival for the first time in 2010. Misch improved to 5-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.83 -ninth best in the International League. He allowed just five hits and no walks while tying a season-high with seven punchouts. The lone run he allowed in the sixth inning was the only base runner to advance past third base all night. Misch retired 16 of the first 19 batters he faced. Overall, he threw 71 of his 100 pitches for strikes. The quality start was his team-leading seventh of the year, and his fifth consecutive. With Misch’s dominance on the mound, the Bisons scored the only runs they would need in the first inning. Hessman knocked in his 54th of the season with an RBI grounder. Three pitches later, Jacobs crushed a 2-0 pitch from Chiefs’ starter Shairon Martis into the berm in right-center for a two-run homer. The blast was Jacobs’ sixth of the season. Seven innings later, Hessman provided some very loud insurance. The league’s top slugger vaulted an offering from reliever Victor Garate into the parking lot beyond Oak St. It was Hessman’s 18th home run of the season. Bobby Parnell closed out the impressive win for his third save of the season. The reliever retired all six batters he faced with three strikeouts.

5/31/10: SYR 7, BUF4
Southpaw starting pitcher Jon Niese made his Major League rehab start today at Coca-Cola field when the Herd opened their four game series with the Syracuse Chiefs. Niese pitched well and left the game with the lead but the bullpen could not hold it for the left hander as the Bisons lost 7-4 for their third straight loss. The Chiefs scored six unanswered runs for the second straight day after the Herd jumped to an early 4-1 lead. The Bisons bullpen had a rough afternoon dealing with the Chiefs. Relieving Niese was right hander Jose De La Torre. De La Torre had a day he would like to forget as he allowed all four batters he faced to reach base. Chiefs shortstop Pedro Lopez started the comeback when he led off the seventh with a double left field. Pinch hitter Kevin Mench reached base with a single and second baseman Pete Orr followed suit by also singling and driving home Lopez. De La Torre then made a throwing error to first trying to get out center fielder Boomer Whiting who bunted to try to advance the runners. De La Torre was then relieved after his error by Adam Pettyjohn to try to limit the damage. Pettyjohn took the mound with the bases loaded and no outs and was able to hold the Chiefs to only one more run. The Chiefs would get another run in the eighth when Lopez homered to left center off of Pettyjohn and picked up two more runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach. For the Bisons, first baseman Daniel Murphy was the catalyst for all four runs the Herd scored on the day. Murphy singled in the first inning to drive home shortstop Ruben Tejada to give him his sixth RBI of the season and the Bisons an early 1-0 lead. Murphy then doubled in the third inning to again drive home Tejada and second baseman Justin Turner to pick up his seventh and eighth RBI of the year. Murphy then accounted for the fourth and final run of the day for the Herd when right fielder Russ Adams drove home Murphy when Adams singled to right field.

4/13/10: SYR 4, BUF 3
Syracuse completed a two-game sweep of the Herd at Alliance Bank Stadium with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night. The Chief’s Chase Lambin had four hits and three RBI to lead the Thruway rival to victory. Lambin was the thorn in the Bisons side, even after the Herd took an early 2-0 lead on Mike Hessman’s third home run of the season and a sacrifice fly from Ruben Tejada. Lambin’s RBI-single in the bottom of the second inning scored Chris Duncan for the Chiefs’ first run. Two innings later, Lambin doubled home another run, tying the score at three. In the sixth inning, Lambin’s third hit on the night drove in Duncan again and gave Syracuse their first, and only, lead of the game. Tobi Stoner (0-1) suffered the defeat for the Herd, allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings of work. He struck out just one batter. Ike Davis singled, but went just 1-4 at the plate. It’s the first game in 2010 the Bisons’ first baseman has not reached base twice. Fernando Martinez finished the game 2-4 with his second double of the season. Mike Hessman now has 314 career minor league home runs. He has 22 more home runs than any other active player.

4/12/10: SYR 9, BUF 1
The Bisons’ three-game winning streak came to an end in Syracuse on Monday night as the Chiefs collected a 9-1 victory over the Herd. Buffalo is now 3-2 with one game to go on their season-opening six-game roadtrip. Errors and strikeouts were the culprits in the Bisons’ second loss of the season. Herd batters fanned a season-high 13 times, making it virtually impossible for the team to string together a rally. The Bisons’ lone run came in the second inning as Ike Davis led off the frame with his second home run of the season. Davis also singled in the game and has now reached base at least twice in each of the team’s first five games. The Bisons have five home runs in five games this year after having just 80 in 143 games last season. Syracuse, meanwhile, put together the big inning with a six-run fifth inning that knocked starter Bobby Livingston (0-1) from the game. All six of the runs were unearned and came with only two hits in the inning. Already leading 3-1, Chiefs’ outfielder Marvin Lowrance led off the frame with a grounder that got under Ike Davis’s glove at first. Livingston then hit a batter and walked the bases loaded before two runs scored on an error from third baseman Mike Hessman. Pete Orr’s RBI-single made it 6-1 Syracuse and forced manager Ken Oberkfell to go to his bullpen. The Bisons turned to Kiko Calero, but Syracuse’s Chase Lambin turned on Calero’s first offering for a three-run home run to right field. When the sixth inning was over, the Chiefs had scored six runs on two hits, a walk, a hit batter and two Buffalo errors.

Bisons rally stopped short

An impressive Bisons’ rally fell short in an absolute slugfest at Knights Stadium on Monday night. Charlotte pounded out 21 hits in a 13-12 victory of a very persistent Herd club.

Buffalo trailed most of the game, including by six runs in the seventh inning. The Bisons came all the way back to tie the game at 12, only to have Charlotte collect the 3-1 series win with a walk-off victory in the ninth inning.

The Bisons just couldn’t find the answer to the top two hitters in the Charlotte’s line-up. Designated hitter Alejandro De Aza and centerfielder Buck Coats combined to go 10-12 with five runs scored and nine RBI. It was Coats who sent the Knights to victory with a two-out RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The game was tied at 12 apiece because the Herd rallied from an 11-5 deficit over the final three innings. Buffalo scored three in the seventh inning, two in the eight and two more in the ninth to pull even with the Knights in the 36-hit slugfest.

Every Bisons hitter in the lineup had at least one hit and one run scored. Fernando Martinez plated two of the three runs in the seventh with a two-out, bases-loaded single to centerfield.

Russ Adams hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, his second blast of the game. Lucas Duda then singled home a pair of runs in the ninth inning to tie the game.

The Bisons hit five home runs in the contest. Adams led off the game with a homer and Duda hit a two-run shot, his second in Triple-A, in the second. Andy Green solo shot came in the third inning and Valentino Pascucci launched his 10th of the season in the sixth inning.

It was the first time the Bisons hit five home runs in the game in over five years. The Bisons hit five homers on June 10, 2005 against Syracuse.

Despite the homers, it was Charlotte that led for most of the game. The Knights scored nine runs in the first three innings off Bisons starter Ramon Ortiz (0-1). De Aza and Coats both had a hit in each of the first three frames to help Charlotte build the big lead.

The Bisons will now return home for a five-game homestand that starts with two against Syracuse on Tuesday and Wednesday.

BISONS NOTES:Russ Adam’s multi-homer game was his first since 2005 with the Blue Jays. That year, Adams had a pair of two-homer games, both against Charlotte’s parent club, the Chicago White Sox…Adams became the second Bisons hitter to lead off a game with a home run this year. Jason Pridie led off the Herd’s contest against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on April 18 with a blast…Of Charlotte’s 21 hits, only three went for extra-bases (all doubles).