June 2010

Lehigh Valley at Buffalo: Game 4

BISONS:
Andy Green, SS
Justin Turner, 2B
Mike Jacobs, 1B
Mike Cervenak, 3B
Fernando Martinez, CF
Luca Duda, LF
Josh Thole, C
Jonathan Malo, RF
Dylan Owen, RHP

IRONPIGS:
Willy Taveras, CF
Rich Thomson, LF
John Mayberry Jr., RF
Andy Tracy, 1B
Cody Ransom, 3B
Melvin Dorta, 2B
Dane Sardinha, C
Brian Bocock, SS
Joe Savery, LHP

A grand finish

The Bisons finally ended their losing streak tonight at Coca-Cola field defeating the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 7-6 with the help of a walk-off grand slam from center fielder Fernando Martinez.

Martinez put an end to the Bisons longest losing streak of the season when he took a 1-2 offering from Iron Pigs pitcher Scott Mathieson deep to right and into the parking lot to give the Bisons a much needed victory.

The walk-off grand slam was only the second in the history of Coca-Cola Field. The only other occurrence was when Marcos Scutaro hit one against Syracuse on August 2, 1999 to give the Herd a 7-3 win.

When the Iron Pigs scored early the Bisons were forced to play catch-up. Right fielder John Mayberry Jr. scored after first baseman Andy Tracy hit a double to left field to give Lehigh Valley an early advantage.

After the Bisons tied the game in the fourth behind a double from catcher Josh Thole, the Iron Pigs surged ahead again in the sixth inning. Second baseman Melvin Dorta hit a two RBI double to center to give Lehigh Valley a 4-2 advantage.

It did not take long for the Bisons to respond however as Thole hit a solo home run to pull the Herd to within one run.

For the day Thole had one of his most productive seasons at the plate, going 3-3 with two doubles along with his solo shot.

The Iron Pigs would add what they thought to be two more insurance runs in the eighth inning when third baseman Cody Ransom hit a two-run blast to left field, his 15th home run of the season.

The Bisons had a chance to chip away at the three run lead in the bottom half of the eighth. Newly acquired left fielder Lucas Duda reached base on a fielders choice. Following Duda, Thole and short stop Andy Green drew walks to load the bases for J.R House. House who was pinch hitting watched the third strike go by as the Iron Pigs avoided the threat without any damage being done.

The following inning the Herd would again load the bases, giving them one more shot to end the losing streak. Right fielder Russ Adams started the rally when he led off the inning with a walk. Second baseman Justin Turner followed him and while Turner got out, his at-bat was crucial in what transpired after.

Turner’s at-bat consisted of 12 pitches. Turner fouled off seven pitches in his plate apperance before finally flying out to center field. While Turner was unable to get on base, his at-bat wore down Mathieson.

Following Turner was first baseman Mike Jacobs and third baseman Mike Cervenak who both singled to load the bases for the second consecutive inning.

Martinez followed Turner’s suit by fouling off the first four pitches and letting a ball go by before he won the game with his deep shot to right field.

Because of the extended at-bats, Mathieson was forced to throw 36 pitches in only two thirds of an inning. The Herd was able to overwork the reliever and it finally paid off when Martinez took the 36th pitch over Heron’s Landing to end the Herd’s losing skid and etch his name into the Bisons history books.

The win now puts the Herd at 34-31 and the loss drops Lehigh Valley to 25-39.

BISONS NOTES: With his two doubles, Thole surpassed third baseman Mike Hessman for the team lead in doubles. Thole now has 18 on the season. The Bisons will end their four game series with the Iron Pigs tomorrow when right hander Dylan Owen (2-2, 6.11 ERA) takes on Lehigh Valley’s left hander Joe Savey (1-6, 4.88 ERA) tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m.

Roster moves for Herd

The Buffalo Bisons today announced that OF LUCAS DUDA, INF JONATHAN MALO and LHP ROY MERRITT have been added to the Herd’s roster from the Double-A Binghamton Mets.

To make room on the roster, INF MIKE HESSMAN was placed on the team’s disabled list, retroactive to Thursday, June 10, with a right hand contusion. Also, OF EMMANUAL GARCIA was transferred to Single-A St. Lucie and INF MARSHALL HUBBARD was transferred to Double-A Binghamton.

Duda, 24, has spent the entire 2010 season with Binghamton and has hit .286 (46-161) with 17 doubles, six home runs and 34RBI in 45 games. His 17 doubles are tied for the third most in the Eastern League. Duda has also a team-high 29 walks to only 27 strikeouts for Binghamton.

Duda is in his fourth professional season after being drafted by the Mets in the seventh round of the 2007 draft. This will be his Triple-A debut.

Merritt, 24, is 1-3 with a 3.96ERA and six saves in 28 relief appearances for Binghamton (43.0IP, 37H, 22R, 19ER, 14BB, 33K). He leads the Eastern League in appearances and retired 19 consecutive batters at one point this season, April 25 – May 3. Opponents are hitting just .228 off Merritt.

Merritt was the 2009 Binghamton Pitcher of the Year after posting a career-high 14 saves. Overall, Merritt was 4-5 with a 3.45ERA in 56 games for the B-Mets. In his fourth season since being selected in the 29th round of the 2007 draft, Merritt will also be making his Triple-A debut with the Herd.

Malo has hit .234 (26-111) with eight doubles, two triples, two home runs and 13RBI in 40 games with Binghamton this season. He was promoted to the Bisons from May 19 – 26 and went 0-1 in two games.

Hessman has not played for the Bisons since getting hit on the right hand by a pitch on Sunday, June 6 in Norfolk. Despite the missed time, he still leads the International League with1 8 home runs and 57RBI.

Garcia hit .160 (8-50) with one RBI in 17 games with the Bisons. Hubbard had one hit in 17 at-bats in five games with Buffalo.

Lehigh Valley at Buffalo: Game 3

BISONS:
Russ Adams, RF
Justin Turner, 2B
Mike Jacobs, 1B
Mike Cervenak, 3B
Fernando Martinez, CF
Luca Duda, LF
Josh Thole, C
Andy Green, SS
Tobi Stoner, RHP

IRONPIGS:
Willy Taveras, CF
Rich Thomson, LF
John Mayberry Jr., RF
Andy Tracy, 1B
Cody Ransom, 3B
Melvin Dorta, 2B
John Suomi, C
Brian Bocock, SS
Nate Bump, RHP

I-Pigs roll in win

Nelson Figueroa returned to Buffalo to face his former team and silenced the Bisons in a 10-1 IronPigs win.

Figueroa was dominant in his return to the Nickel City as he pitched six shutout innings. Over his six innings of work Figueroa allowed only five hits and struck out six batters. The former Bison is now 2-0 on the year and his ERA remains unblemished at 0.00.

The Iron Pigs got the offense going early when in the second inning third baseman Cody Ransom sent a ball to deep left field and stirred up some controversy. Originally called foul by the third base umpire Jon Merry after it landed over the left field wall just a few feet from the foul pole, the Iron Pigs argued that it hit the pole and should have been ruled a home run. After the four umpires discussed the play they ruled that it in fact did hit the foul pole and Ransom was credited with his 14th home run of the year.

The Iron Pigs then added three runs in the third inning when Bisons starting pitcher Dillon Gee allowed the first four runners to reach base. Right fielder John Mayberry Jr. would then get his 35th and 36th RBI of the season when he doubled on a sharp ground ball to left field to score Figueroa and center fielder Willy Taveras.

In his 13th start of the season, Gee had a difficult time recording outs in his four innings pitched. Gee allowed eight runs, seven of which were earned off of nine hits in his shortest outing of the year. Gee is now 6-4 for the season.

The Bisons were held scoreless after eight innings but finally got on the board in the ninth. They managed to avoid being shut out when center fielder Fernando Martinez scored off of a single from Marshall Hubbard with two outs.

The Herd’s offense was hard to come by. Shortstop Justin Turner and Martinez provided most of the offense for the Herd as Martinez recorded three hits and the only run while Turner had two hits for the day. Turner recorded two doubles but was unable to be driven home by those batting behind him. Catcher Josh Thole also had two hits on the day.

The losing streak for the Herd is now extended to seven games, the longest this season and tied for the longest from last year as they dropped seven straight on two different occasions last season. The Bisons are now 33-31 and the Iron Pigs improved to 25-38.


BISONS NOTES: The Bisons will try to end their losing streak tomorrow when they take on the Iron Pigs in the third game of a four game series. The Bisons will send Tobi Stoner (3-6, 5.23 ERA) to the mound to take on Nate Bump (5-3, 2.96 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.