If the final week of this season is an audition for Zach Lutz, Sunday night will go a long way to passing the Triple-A test.
Lutz doubled twice against the Red Wings with the second driving home a pair of runs in the 10th inning of a 6-4 victory over Rochester at Frontier Field.
The 24-year old has now played four games with the Herd and already has four extra-base hits and six RBI.
The Bisons and Red Wings went into extra-inning after Rochester scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at four. Valentino Pascucci drew a one-out walk and moved to second base on a wild pitch from Cole DeVries. With a base open, DeVries gave a free pass to Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
That set the stage for Lutz, who doubled home both runners on the first pitch he saw from DeVries to give the Herd its 75th win of the season.
The Bisons used the longball to get on the board early. Pascucci hit a two-run shot in the first inning and Nieuwenhuis launched his second of the season in the sixth. With the score tied at three, Andy Green gave Buffalo the lead back with a solo shot in the seventh inning.
The win for Buffalo went to Mike O’Connor. The southpaw worked two innings to improve to 5-2 on the season.
The Bisons take on the Red Wings on Monday at 1:05 p.m. in the final game of the 2010 season.
BISONS NOTES: The New York Mets promoted INF Nick Evans and LHP Raul Valdes on Sunday…The Mets also announced that RHP Dillon Gee will start for New York on Tuesday in Washington. After striking out a Bisons modern era record 165 batters in 2010, Gee will be making his major league debut…Valentino Pascucci’s home run was his 17th of the season, one short of Mike Hessman’s team-high 18.
RHP Fernando Nieve 2-1, 5.77
Rochester Red Wings
RHP Steve Hirschfeld (NR)
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Frontier Field – Rochester, NY
TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNet 13
Radio: WWKB AM 1520, bisons.com
TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Bisons take on the Rochester Red Wings in the first game of a two-game series from Frontier Field (7:05 p.m.). This is the Herd’s final series of the 2010 season. Buffalo is coming off a two-game split with the IronPigs in Lehigh Valley to begin their season-ending roadtrip. The Bisons are 32-38 away from Coca-Cola Field this season.
vs. WINGS: The Bisons are 9-5 against the Red Wings this season, including a 4-2 mark at Frontier Field. It’s the first time since 2007 that the Bisons have won the season series. The Herd has made three trips to Rochester this year. Buffalo split two against the Red Wings, April 21-22 and July 10-11. In the Bisons last visit, July 19-20, the Herd swept two with wins of 6-2 and 1-0.
TONIGHT’S STARTER: RHP FERNANDO NIEVE will start for the Bisons tonight. The righty lost his last start by allowing five runs in six innings on August 31 against Syracuse. It was Nieve’s first loss in 11 career starts with the Bisons. The righty is 2-1 in seven starts with the Herd this season, with back-to-back victories on August 11 in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and August 16 in Pawtucket. Nieve has worked six innings in four of his last five starts.
ENDING STRONG: OF JESUS FELICIANO enters tonight’s game with a six-game hit streak. Feliciano has hit .346 (9-26) with two RBI and two runs scored. It looks like the outfielder is going to fall short in his pursuit of an IL Batting Championship. Feliciano would need 25 plate appearances over the next two days to qualify. His .340 average in 88 games would fall one point under Gwinnett’s Barbaro Canizares (.341).
EVANS ALMIGHTY: INF NICK EVANS has reached base in 34 of the 37 games he’s played with the Bisons with a .314 batting average and a .385 on-base percentage. Evans also has 21 extra-base hits in those 37 games with 14 doubles, one triple and six home runs. Combined with his 88 games with Double-A Binghamton, Evans now has 58 extra-base hits on the season, including 23 home runs.
GO NORTH: The Bisons are going to finish the 2010 season with a winning record in the IL North Division. Buffalo is 41-27 against the North. The only team the Herd doesn’t have a winning record against is Syracuse (6-10).
METS UPDATE: The Mets (66-70) lost to the Cubs on Saturday by a 5-3 score. Former Bisons INF IKE DAVIS hit his 16th home run of the season in the loss. He finished the game 2-4. OF CAROS BELTRAN went 3-4 with an RBI. New York takes on the Cubs again this afternoon with a 1:20 p.m. first pitch from Wrigley Field
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs used a three-run seventh inning rally to come from behind and upend the Buffalo Bisons, 4-3, in the final game of the 2010 series between the two IL North foes from Coca-Cola Park.
The Bisons jumped on top early with a two-run first inning. After a Jesus Feliciano double to lead off the game, Nick Evans drove him in on a double of his own. The next batter, Mike Cervenak, the got a base knock to send Evans home and put the Herd up 2-0.
Bisons starter Adam Pettyjohn kept the IronPigs off the board until his opposing pitcher Brian Mazone helped himself out with an RBI double in the fourth inning.
However, things fell apart for Buffalo in the bottom of the seventh frame, with newly promoted reliever Manuel Alvarez on the hill.
The big boppers of Lehigh Valley lit up the scoreboard with a three-run inning, including an RBI triple off the bat of Rich Thompson and a solo home run from John Mayberry Jr., his 15th long ball of the year. The IronPigs would go on for the 4-3 victory.
The Bisons will travel to Rochester for the final two games of the 2010 season starting tomorrow with a 7:05 p.m. start time from Frontier Field.
BISONS NOTES: With the loss the Bisons dropped to 10-6 in the season series with Lehigh Valley…Nick Evans had a big night at the plate in the loss going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI double…Sean Green threw two hitless innings of relief, including striking out three.
LHP Adam Pettyjohn 2-4, 5.14
Lehigh Valley IronPigs
LHP Brian Mazone 6-13, 3.87
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Coca-Cola Park – Allentown, PA
Radio: WWKB AM 1520, bisons.com
TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Bisons take on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in the second game of a two-game series from Coca-Cola Park (6:35 p.m.). The Herd is looking for the series sweep after last night’s 7-4 comeback victory. The Bisons’ three remaining games this season are on the road as the team will travel to Rochester on Sunday to face the Red Wings for a pair of games. Buffalo is 32-37 on the road this season.
vs. IRONPIGS: The Bisons have already won their season series with Lehigh Valley. Buffalo is 10-5 against the IronPigs with only one game left. That record includes a 5-2 mark at Coca-Cola Park. This is the first time Buffalo has won the season series against the three years of the IronPigs’ franchise.
COMEBACK KIDS: Last night’s victory was the Bisons’ 33rd comeback win of the season, 12 of which have come on the road. Last night’s four-run rally was the Herd’s third such comeback and first since beating Columbus 11-4 on August 5. In that game, Buffalo trailed 4-0 in the seventh inning.
BATTING RACE: The numbers are stacked against OF JESUS FELICIANO and his pursuit of an IL Batting Championship. Feliciano needs 30 plate appearances over the next three days to qualify. If he falls short, hitless at-bats can be added to his average. However, Feliciano’s .341 average in 87 games is already a point behind Gwinnett’s Barbaro Canizares (.342).
BISONS BITS: INF ZACH LUTZ hit his first Triple-A home run last night in just his second game with the Bisons. Lutz led Double-A Binghamton with 17 home runs in 61 games before his promotion…The Bisons have added INF JON MALO and RHP MANNY ALVAREZ to their roster. Both players were promoted from Double-A and both are making their third stint with the Bisons this season…C J.R. HOUSE has hit in 15 of his last 19 games with the Herd.
THE HONOR GOES TO…: On Thursday, the Bisons handed out their end of the season awards. OF LUCAS DUDA (.314, 17HR, 53RBI) was named the club’s MVP while LHP PAT MISCH (11-4, 3.23ERA, 99K) was named Most Valuable Pitcher. RHP DILLON GEE was given Comeback Player of the Year. He missed 98 games in 2009 and this year leads the IL with 165 strikeouts.
METS UPDATE: The Mets (66-69) lost to the Cubs on Friday afternoon, 7-6, from Wrigley Field. INF DAVID WRIGHT homered for the second straight game and was 3-5 with three RBI. Former Bisons INF LUIS HERNANDEZ hit his first Mets home run, as well. New York takes on the Cubs again today at 12:05 p.m.
All season long, the Bisons have been a comeback team. Apparently, that hasn’t changed even if there are no playoffs in the Herd’s future.
Comeback victory #33 came on Friday night at Coca-Cola Park as Buffalo rallied from four runs down to defeat the IronPigs, 7-4. All seven runs came with two outs as the Herd fought back from an early deficit the night after their post season hopes had ended.
Simply put, the 2010 Bisons are a team that will fight for all 144 games on the schedule.
Against Lehigh Valley, the Herd trailed 4-0 after five innings before the rally started with a five-run sixth inning where all of the runs scored were unearned.
Russ Adams reached base on a fielding error by second baseman Ozzie Chavez. But Adams was only at first base with two outs as the inning seemed innocent enough. Then, Kirk Nieuwenhuis drew a walk and Mike Cervenak singled to load the bases.
Buffalo followed with three consecutive walks to score runs with Zach Lutz, J.R. House and Valentino Pascucci earning free passes. Jesus Feliciano then singled home two more runs for the 5-4 advantage.
An inning later, Lutz hit his first Triple-A home run, a two-run shot with two outs, to give Buffalo the 7-4 lead.
Michael Antonini worked five innings to earn his second win of the season. Both victories have come in Coca-Cola Park against the IronPigs. Michael O’Connor struck out three in 1.1 innings of work to earn his sixth save of the season.
BISONS NOTES:Zach Lutz finished the game 2-3 with two runs scored and three RBI…Jose De La Torre struck out four batters in two innings of relief for Buffalo…The Bisons are now 10-5 against Lehigh Valley this season, the first time in three years the Herd won the season series.