News & Notes: Game 31

Sunday, May 8, 2011 (1:05 p.m.) – Coca-Cola Field
Radio: WWKB AM 1520,

Buffalo Bisons (13-17, 5th(-5.0), North)
LHP Casey Fossum (0-1, 3.52)

Louisville Bats (17-12, 2nd(-5.5), West)
LHP Matt Maloney (0-0, 1.93)

TODAY’S GAME: This afternoon, the Buffalo Bisons host the Louisville Bats for the final game of a four-game series at Coca-Cola Field (1:05 p.m.). The Bisons lead the series 2-1 and can collect their first series win of the season with another victory today. On Monday, the homestand continues with a four-game set against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

VS. BATS: The Bisons are now 2-1 against the Bats to start their season series. Buffalo has won six of their last eight games against Louisville at Coca-Cola Field. The Bats will get their chance to host the Bisons very soon as Buffalo will begin their next roadtrip on Friday, May 13 with the first game of a four-game series at Louisville Slugger Field.

CASEY ON THE MOUND: LHP CASEY FOSSUM returns to the starting rotation after pitching three consecutive scoreless outings from the Bisons bullpen. His last start came April 21 when he held Rochester to one unearned run in 6.1 innings of work. Since allowing seven runs in his 2011 debut, Fossum has posted a 0.96ERA in five games and 18.2 innings of work. During that span, the southpaw has allowed just 14 hits and struck out 16 batters.

NOTHING NEIU: OF KIRK NIEUWENHUIS has reached base in 29 of the Bisons 30 games. The only game he failed to reach base was an 0-4 performance on April 27 in Rochester that ended his 16-game hit streak. That streak still stands as the International League’s best for 2011. Nieuwenhuis is also tied with two others for the most doubles in the IL with 12 and his .425 on-base percentage is fifth-best in the circuit.

BATTING THE BATS: A couple of Bisons players enjoy facing Louisville pitching. In 18 career games against the IL West foe, OF JESUS FELICIANO has averaged .355 (22-62) with five RBI and eight runs scored. In 11 career games against the Bats, INF RUBEN TEJADA has hit .333 (14-42) with six runs scored.

BISONS BITS: The Bisons are 3-0 in the first three games caught by C MIKE NICKEAS this season…The last time LHP CASEY FOSSUM faced Louisville was May 28, 2008 while with Toledo. In that start, he allowed just one run on two hits in seven innings with 11 strikeouts.

METS UPDATE: The Mets (15-18) beat the Dodgers, 4-2, on Saturday night. Former Bison OF JASON PRIDIE went 3-3 at the plate to raise his average to .300. RHP DILLON GEE allowed just two runs in 5.1 innings of work. New York will look for the three-game sweep of Los Angeles today at 1:10 p.m.

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