Ortiz orchestrates a beauty

On July 3 starting pitcher Ramon Ortiz took the mound in Buffalo against the Rochester Red Wings only to find himself on the losing end of a pitcher’s duel against Red Wings starter Glen Perkins. Facing the Red Wings again today at Frontier Field, Ortiz took part in another pitcher’s duel. This time however he got the best of the Red Wings as the Herd won 1-0.

Red Wings starter Anthony Swarzak played the role of Ortiz’s counterpart today and was on the losing end of the duel as Ortiz showed complete dominance over his seven inning start.

Ortiz tossed seven masterful innings by only giving up two hits and eight strikeouts while not issuing a walk. The Bisons starter also allowed only one base runner to reach scoring position when Rochester shortstop Brendan Harris got to second in the fifth inning.

The Bisons starter attacked the strike zone early and often. While picking up his first win as a member of the Herd, Ortiz threw 84 pitches in his start today with 62 of them went for strikes. Through the first three innings Ortiz could not seem to miss the strike zone as 26 of his first 29 pitches were strikes.

After issuing a single to Red Wings third baseman Trevor Plouffe who was leading off for Rochester, Ortiz then retired the next 12 batters he faced. Following Plouffe’s single, Ortiz did not allow a man to reach base until right fielder Brian Dinkleman knocked a single in to lead off the fifth inning.

While Ortiz was throwing a gem on the mound, his teammates could not drive in any runs to support their starter. The game remained scoreless until the seventh inning. Second baseman Russ Adams led off the inning with his 20th double of the year to put the Bisons in position to drive home a much needed run. Catcher Jean Luc Blaquiere then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Adams over to third to bring up 2009 team MVP Jesus Feliciano with a chance to drive home the go-ahead run.

Feliciano did his job as he lifted a 2-1 pitch just deep enough to left field to score Adams. Following the catch from Red Wings left fielder Matt Macri, he made a good throw home that Feliciano just beat out to give the Herd the 1-0 advantage.

Ryota Igarashi relieved Ortiz in the eighth inning and got through the inning relatively easy barring a single from first baseman Brock Peterson. Manny Acosta then took the hill in the ninth and en route to his fifth save of the year breezed through the Red Wings final three batters to secure the 1-0 victory.

The win for the Herd is their fifth straight, which ties their season high. The shutout is also the sixth time the Herd has blanked their opponent this year. The Bisons are now 51-45 while the Red Wings drop to 35-63.

BISONS NOTES: Mike Cervenak collected three hits in todays game, going 3-4 in the win. In his second game back with the Herd, designated hitter Mike Hessman went 0-4. He will make his return to Coca-Cola Field tomorrow when the Bisons take on the Red Wings in the back end of a home and home series with Rochester. Pat Misch looks for his tenth win of the season (9-3, 3.27 ERA) as he takes on Glen Perkins (3-8, 7.00 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.

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