News & Notes: Game 46

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 (7:05 p.m.) – Coca-Cola Field

Radio: WWKB AM 1520,
TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNet HD 713                   

Buffalo Bisons (20-26, 5th(-8.5), North)
RHP Brian Sweeney (1-2, 6.35)

Charlotte Knights (20-23, 3rd(-3.5), South)
RHP Lucas Harrell (3-2, 4.04)
TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Bisons take on the Charlotte Knights in the final game of a four-game series from Coca-Cola Field (7:05 p.m.). The Bisons have the 2-1 series edge and can win their first series of the 2011 season with another victory tonight. After Wednesday’s league-wide off day, the Bisons will welcome the Gwinnett Braves for a four-game series.

FOR THE SERIES: The Bisons have not collected a series win since a two-game sweep in Rochester on the final two games of the 2010 season, September 5-6. The last time the Herd won a four-game set at Coca-Cola Field was a four-game sweep of Columbus, August 5-8, 2010. Buffalo’s last four-game series win on the road was June 4-7, 2010 in Norfolk.

TODAY’S STARTER: RHP BRIAN SWEENEY is coming off his best outing with the team. The veteran righty allowed just one run on four hits in seven innings on May 19 in Indianapolis. Sweeney is now 1-2 with 6.35ERA in his first three starts since being signed by the Mets on May 6.

VS. THE KNIGHTS: The Bisons have won two straight over the Knights and have a 2-1 lead in the season series. A victory tonight would give Buffalo a home series win over Charlotte for the third time in four years. The only year in that stretch the Bisons didn’t defend Coca-Cola Field was in 2009 when they were swept by the Knights.

OUR PAL, VAL: OF VALENTINO PASCUCCI has 20RBI in 19 games this month, the second most in the International League (CHA, Dayan Viciedo, 23). Pascucci has driven in eight in his last five games and enters tonight on a six-game hit streak over which he has averaged .421 (8-19) with two doubles, a home run and two runs scored. His .413 on-base percentage is just three plate appearances shy of qualifying 2nd-best in the IL.

BISONS BITS: The Bisons are the only team in the International League that has yet to allow a passed ball…OF KIRK NIEUWENHUIS ranks 1st in the IL in games (46), 2nd in on-base percentage (.410), T2nd in walks (29) and T3rd in doubles (15)…The Bisons have left a runner on base in 14 consecutive innings and 19 of 22 against the Knights.

METS UPDATE: The Mets (22-24) were off yesterday. New York will begin a three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field tonight (8:05 p.m.). Former Bisons LHP JON NIESE will start, looking to improve on a personal two-game winning streak. The Mets are 6.5 games out of first place in the N.L. East division.

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