July 2010

Bisons walk away with another

The Herd has returned from their All-Star break with a new found flare for the dramatics.

The Bisons defeated the Gwinnett Braves 4-3 at Coca-Cola Field tonight thanks to a walk-off sacrifice fly from Jorge Padilla for the Bisons second walk-off win in as many days. The Herd earned their victory last night thanks to a Jesus Feliciano single in the eleventh inning and the sacrifice fly from Padilla gave the Herd their seventh walk-off win this season.

The Braves jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to a home run from first baseman Freddie Freeman in the first inning. Freeman’s eleventh home run of the season came off of a 1-1 pitch from Bisons starter Oliver Perez and was driven deep to right field to give the Braves the early advantage. After giving up the home run to Freeman, Perez settled down and got through the next four innings with relative ease. Perez ran into a bit of trouble in the sixth however, giving up a two-run home run to Braves left fielder Mitch Jones to tie the game at three.

Following Jones’ two home run game last night, the Braves slugger launched his team leading 18th home run of the year out of Coca-Cola Field to signal the end of Perez’s start.

In his second rehab outing with the Herd, Perez gave Buffalo a quality start. The lefty tossed 6.2 innings while giving up seven hits and only three earned runs. Perez also struck out seven batters in his performance tonight.

Following their disappointing appearances in the past two games, the Bisons bullpen pitched well in tonight’s contest and did not allow any more runs after Perez’s exit. Jose De La Torre, Ryota Igarashi and Manny Acosta combined to throw 2.1 innings while only permitting one hit and one walk to keep the Bisons in the game.

Entering the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at three the Herd tried to avoid going into extra innings for the third straight game.

Third baseman Mike Cervenak started the inning off right when he got aboard with a single to lead off the frame. Right fielder Fernando Martinez then followed Cervenak and showed that he was going to bunt to move the runner over. Once Martinez laid down the bunt back to Braves pitcher Scott Proctor his throw to the bag sailed past Freeman and allowed Cervenak to move to third and Martinez to reach second.

After second baseman Russ Adams was intentionally walked to load the bases catcher J.R House struck out and Padilla was sent to pitch hit in the pitchers spot. Padilla came through in the clutch and sent a fly ball deep enough to right field to score Cervenak when Jordan Schafer’s throw could not beat the runner home giving the Herd the 4-3 win.

The win for the Herd now improves their record to 48-45 while the loss drops the Braves to 43-51.

BISONS NOTES: The Herd will return to Coca-Cola Field tomorrow afternoon to finish up their four-game series with the Braves. Dillon Gee (8-5, 4,77 ERA) will take on Gwinnett left hander Jose Oretgano (2-6, 6.51 ERA) before the Herd will head to Rochester for a home and home series with the Red Wings.

Friday night delight

One night after the Bisons erased a five-run deficit on the Gwinnett Braves the two teams switched roles as the Braves scored five runs in the final two innings thanks to send the game into extra innings.

Tonight’s story had a different ending for the Herd as Jesus Feliciano played the part of the hero, getting a single in the eleventh inning to drive home second baseman Russ Adams and defeat the Braves 10-9. In his second game back with the Herd returning from the Mets, Feliciano was 0-5 before lining a single just past Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman to score Adams from second and giving the Bisons their 47th win of the year.

The Herd entered the eighth inning with a 9-4 lead on Gwinnett. The Braves however would begin to chip away at their lead thanks to a three-run eighth inning where both left fielder Mitch Jones and catcher J.C Boscan had home runs. For Jones it was his team-high 17th home run of the year and his second of the night. Jones also hit a three-run blast in the first inning to put the Braves ahead early in the game.

The Braves then completed the comeback by getting a two-run home run from shortstop Brandon Hicks in the bottom of the ninth.

The comeback from the Braves erased a strong start from the Bisons lone All-Star selection, Pat Misch. After throwing an inning of scoreless relief in the mid-summer classic while striking out two batters on Wednesday, the left hander tossed six more innings, giving up seven hits and allowing four runs.

Due to the faltering of the Bisons pen however, Misch was denied his tenth win of the year. Misch who remains at 9-3 saw his four-game winning streak snapped when the Bisons bullpen allowed the Braves to score those five late runs. The lefty will have to wait until his next start to see if he can become the first Bisons pitcher since Jeremy Guthrie in 2005 to get to the double-digit mark in wins.

In his 1.2 innings of relief, pitcher Ryota Igarashi was touched up for five hits and three runs. Manny Acosta followed Igarashi in the ninth inning to try to pick up the save. Acosta was unable to do so and allowed the Hicks two-run home run with two outs, giving the 13,397 fans at Coca-Cola Field a dose of bonus baseball.

Feliciano’s single was the first hit the Bisons received in extra innings and he could not have picked a better time to get it. Before Feliciano, Adams got aboard by drawing a walk and was then moved over to second by way of a Jorge Padilla sacrifice bunt.

The walk-off win is the sixth for the Herd this season. Feliciano joins the company of injured Bisons slugger Mike Hessman, Fernando Martinez and Chris Carter as the other members of the Herd to have walk-off hits this year.

Bisons pitcher Jose De La Torre picked up the win by not allowing a hit in the eleventh inning and moves to 1-1 on the season. The Bisons are now 47-45 and remain 7.5 games back of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for the lead in the IL North.

BISONS NOTES: First baseman Mike Jacobs hit his 15th home run of the year in the second inning to give the Herd 102 home runs for the year. That mark of 102 is tops in the IL and 22 more than they hit all of last season. The Bisons have also been finding their home run stroke as of late hitting 21 home runs in their past 13 games.

Advance Scout: Gwinnett Braves

Buffalo and Gwinnett will finish their final head-to-head series July 15-18 at Coca-Cola Field. The Bisons and Braves split the first four-game series at Cool Ray Field in late June.

Just in their second year of existence, the Bisons have not won a series against Gwinnett. The two clubs split each four-game set in the G-Braves’ debut season.

Last year, the teams split each four-game set in Buffalo and in Gwinnett. The Braves outscored the Bisons, 40-33, in the eight games during 2009. Buffalo has been outscored 24-17 by Gwinnett following the first set this year.

Tentative pitching match-ups: Buffalo vs Gwinnett:
THR: RHP Ramon Ortiz (0-2, 8.53) vs Todd Redmond (8-8, 4.25)
FRI: LHP Pat Misch (9-3, 3.12) vs LHP Scott Diamond (Triple-A debut)
SAT: LHP Oliver Perez (0-0, 0.00) vs RHP Cristhian Martinez (2-1, 4.54)
SUN: RHP Dillon Gee (8-5, 4.77) vs LHP Jose Ortegano (2-6, 6.51)

TRADE WINDS: Heading into the Buffalo series Atlanta made a deal with Toronto that swapped shortstops in a five-player package that sent Yunel Escobar north and Alex Gonzalez to south. Pertaining to the G-Braves/Bisons series, Jo-Jo Reyes, was 1-5 with a 5.70 ERA in 12 games, including 10 starts, for Gwinnett. On June 22 at Gwinnett, the Herd tagged Reyes for 6 runs – including homers from Jorge Paddilla and Valentino Pascucci – over five innings.

TOPS FOR BARBARO: Despite being two for is last 14, G-Braves DH/1B Barbaro Canizares took his batting average as high as .319 – the top mark in the International League last week. Canizares, now sits second in the IL with a .311 average and cemented the Cuban native’s selection to his third consecutive IL All-Star squad. Canizares had multi-hit games in three of the six contests, and reached base in 16 of the past 18 games, including 14 straight(6/24-7/7: 18-for-46 (.383) with 4 2B, 3HR 11RBI, 8BB).

FASHIONABLY LATE: The International League added G-Braves 3B Wes Timmons to the 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game. Timmons makes his second consecutive IL All -Star appearance, joining Gwinnett DH Barbaro Canizares (3 straight IL All-Star nods) and RP Michael Dunn (1st time IL All Star) on the squad.

MAJOR WORK FOR MINOR: New G-Braves starter and 2009 1st round pick Mike Minor had his second shutdown start in as many outings. He has now allowed just 2 R/ER in 12.2 IP while striking out 15. Only former G-Braves Tommy Hanson and Charlie Morton have struck out more in their initial pair of starts (both with 17 K
through 2 starts), although Morton allowed 4 R/ER overall and Hanson went just 10.0 IP total in the pair’s first two starts of 2009.

P.O.W. FOR REDMOND: Gwinnett pitcher Todd Redmond was named the International League’s Pitcher of the Week for the period from June 28-July 4. Redmond is the third G-Brave to receive an IL weekly award in 2010, joining Chris Resop (May 10-16) and Matt Young (June 21-27) — a record in franchise history for one year.
Redmond started two games for Gwinnett last week, going 1-0 in 13.0 IP against Columbus and Durham. He yielded just 7 hits, 1 R/ER and 3 BB while striking out 10 in the two starts.

FUTURES’ FUN: Gwinnett Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor made an appearance in the XM Radio All-Star Futures Game in the top of the 5th inning for the U.S. Futures team. He had a scoreless inning of work and faced the minimum. Minor threw 15 pitches and 11 for strikes.

*Notes compiled from club game notes and official website.

Series I: Review for Buffalo & Gwinnett
6/25/10: GWN 10, BUF 4
READ: G-Braves get split

6/24/10: BUF 5, GWN 4
READ: HR & Acosta preserve win

6/23/10: BUF 6, GWN 3
READ: Bisons bounce Braves

6/22/10: GWN 7, BUF 2
READ: G-Braves get win in opener

IL extends recent All-Star dominance

Chiefs’ Lambin keys sixth-inning rally, earns Top Star honors
By Josh Jackson / Special to MLB.com

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — It may have looked like a sleeper in the early going Wednesday, but the International League ended up continuing its recent dominance at the Triple-A All-Star Game.

Held hitless until the fifth inning, the IL got an RBI double from Chase Lambin and a run-scoring single from Elliot Johnson in the sixth to edge the Pacific Coast League, 2-1, before a sellout crowd of 10,000 at Coca-Cola Park.

Hometown hero Andy Tracy of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single in the fifth against Brandon Dickson of the Memphis Redbirds. The IL failed to capitalize but broke through an inning later.

Chris Valaika of the Louisville Bats started the sixth with a double to left field and Lambin doubled him home. Johnson, who entered as a defensive replacement in the top of the inning, broke the 1-1 deadlock with a single to left.

Rochester Red Wings right-hander Anthony Slama got the win after pitching a scoreless sixth and Jonathan Albaladejo of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save. Albaladejo shares the Minor League lead with 29 regular-season saves.

Iowa Cubs infielder Darwin Barney singled home Matt Miller of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in the second with the PCL’s lone run.

Starter Thomas Diamond of the Cubs struck out two and walked two over two hitless innings and was named the PCL’s Top Star.

Josh Banks of the Round Round Express took the loss after giving up two runs on three hits in one inning.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

Buffalo at Rochester: Game 2

Justin Turner, 2B
Luis Hernandez, SS
Jorge Padilla, CF
Mike Jacobs, DH
Valention Pascucci, DH
Fernando Martinez, RF
Mike Cervenak, 3B
Lucas Duda, LF
JR House, C
Oliver Perez, LHP

Dustin Martin, CF
Trevor Plouffe, SS
Brendan Harris, 3B
Jose Morales, DH
Brock Peterson, 1B
Matt Macri, LF
Wilson Ramos, C
Brain Dinkleman, RF
Toby Gardenhire, 2B
Ryan Mullins, LHP