May 2011

Pagan rehabs with Buffalo

The New York Mets today announced that OF ANGEL PAGAN will join the Buffalo Bisons today as part of his major league injury rehab assignment. The Bisons face the Gwinnett Braves at 7:05 p.m. at Coca-Cola Field.

Pagan, 29, was placed on the disabled list on April 22 with a strained left oblique. He has already played six games with the Single-A St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League as part of his injury rehab assignment. With St. Lucie, Pagan has averaged .261 (8-23) with a double, a home run and two RBI.

This will be the second time in his career that Pagan has rehabbed with the Bisons. The outfielder joined the Herd for a three-game stint, May 12-16, 2009, while recovering from off-season elbow surgery. He hit .286 (4-14) with two triples, two RBI and two runs scored in those three games. In his Bisons debut on May 12, he hit a two-run, walk-off triple in the bottom of the 11th inning of a 4-3 win over Gwinnett.

Bisons grounded by Harrell, Knights

Charlotte Knights starter Lucas Harrell quieted the Bisons’ bats with Buffalo hitting into 15 groundouts in the righty’s six innings in a 7-2 win to split the four-game series Tuesday night at Coca Cola Field.

“I thought we played well,” manager Tim Teufel said. “We just didn’t hit enough today.”

With two outs and a two-two count, Dayan Viciedo hit a deep right-field double off of Herd starter Brian Sweeney. On the next pitch, Tyler Flowers gave the Knights an early 2-0 lead with a home run over the old wall in left center field.

Home Plate umpire D.J. Reyburn ejected Bisons pitching coach Ricky Bones for protesting a close pitch in Viciedo’s at-bat.

“It looked like a pretty good pitch, but you really have to battle back,” Teufel said. “He made too many good pitches. He was throwing too many strikes today. He didn’t have a lot of effect pitches.”

Sweeney’s night ended in the fifth inning after allowing four runs on five hits, including two doubles, in the inning, with Viciedo’s second of thee two-baggers on the night sending the Buffalo righty to the dugout. He finished with totals six earned runs on nine hits with a strikeout, no walks and a wild pitch.

After a four-day absence from the lineup, catcher Mike Nickeas returned with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, scoring Chin-Lung Hu.

Harrell allowed just Hu’s run (unearned due to a passed ball), walked two and struck out two.

Viciedo scored for the second time on the night in the eighth, advancing twice in one inning on wild pitches by reliever Ryota Igarashi.

The Bisons rallied in the eighth when Charlotte reliever Shane Lindsay walked the bases loaded, leaving in favor of Miguel Socolovich, who allowed a two-out RBI single to Bubba Bell. Socolovich rebounded to retire the next batter, Jesus Feliciano, with a groundout.

Nickeas doubled with one out in the ninth, but Socolovich retired the next two batters to seal the game.

Game Notes: The Bisons have their first day off in three weeks Wednesday… Manny Acosta struck out two and walked one in two shutout relief innings… After his shutout ninth inning, Dale Thayer has allowed just one run over his last 10.1 innings.

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.

Bisons finish in five

The Bisons topped the Charlotte Knights in a rain-shortened 6-2 affair Monday night at Coca Cola Field.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning, Valentino Pascucci rocked a two-out, three-run double to right-center field, missing a grand slam by about a foot.

“It was funny because I didn’t really see exactly where it hit until I saw the replay because I was kind of rounding first base looking at the bag, getting ready to go for second,” Pascucci said. “But it was definitely close.”

“He hit the top of the fence at the yellow part and it just kind of almost stuck there,” manager Tim Teufel said. “He really drove the ball well and he had a good at-bat.”

Bubba Bell scored on a wild pitch in the final inning after he advanced to third and Jesus Feliciano stole second on a double steal. Feliciano later scored on a single by catcher Raul Chavez.

Dylan Owen’s start lasted just three innings, giving way to John Lujan at the top of the fourth. Owen allowed two runs – one earned – on three hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Lujan took the win after striking out three and surrendering three hits.

After a starting time of 7:05, the game paused at 9:10 after heavy rain hit during the bottom of the fifth. Umpires waited until the inning ended to stop play, with the rain progressing to more rain and lightning. The game officially ended 84 minutes later.

Charlotte starter Gaby Hernandez allowed six runs (all earned) on six hits over 4.1 innings. He gave way to Gregory Infante.

The Bisons, up 2-1, will look for their first series victory as the two teams play again to close the four-game set Tuesday night.

News & Notes: Game 46

Monday, May 23, 2011 (7:05 p.m.) – Coca-Cola Field
TV: SNY (SportsNet New York), Time Warner Cable SportsNet 13                        
Radio: WWKB AM 1520,

Buffalo Bisons (19-26, 5th(-9.0), North)
RHP Dylan Owen (1-2, 5.75)

Charlotte Knights (20-22, 3rd(-3.5), South)
RHP Gaby Hernandez (2-4, 3.31)

TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Bisons take on the Charlotte Knights in the third game of a four-game series from Coca-Cola Field (7:05 p.m.). The series is tied 1-1 after the Knights won 6-3 on Saturday and the Herd collected a 7-5 victory yesterday afternoon. Buffalo is now an even 12-12 in 24 games at home this season. After Wednesday’s league-wide off day, the Bisons will welcome the Gwinnett Braves for a four-game series.

VS. THE KNIGHTS: The Bisons and Knights have split the first two games of their eight-game season series. Charlotte is one of only two teams in the International League that the Bisons have a losing record to since the Herd rejoined the IL. Buffalo is 50-56 against the Knights for a .471 winning percentage. Buffalo is also 27-29 against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

TODAY’S STARTER: RHP DYLAN OWEN is making his fourth start and seventh appearance of the year tonight. The righty has worked in the bullpen since rejoining the team on May 12. In his last start, April 25 vs. Lehigh Valley, Owen allowed just three hits in six shutout innings to beat the IronPigs. He struck out six and walked none in that outing. At Coca-Cola Field this season, Owen is 1-1 with a 2.92ERA in three appearances.

BIG INNING: The Bisons scored a season-best five runs in the third inning of yesterday’s game. Five consecutive Herd batters plated runs, including the final four with two outs. After OF JASON BOTTS drove in a run on a groundout, OF BUBBA BELL, OF JESUS FELICIANO, INF CHIN-LUNG HU and C RAUL CHAVEZ all singled home runs in a five-pitch span. The inning was the fourth time the Bisons had batted around this season.

BISONS BITS: The Bisons are the only team in the International League that has yet to allow a passed ball…OF KIRK NIEUWENHUIS is the only player in the International League who has played 45 games…LHP JUSTIN HAMPSON has retired the first batter he has faced in 14 of his 15 outings with the Bisons (93% success rate)…INF VALENTINO PASCUCCI homered yesterday and is hitting .310 with three homers and 17RBI in May…Before yesterday’s game, INF JONATHAN MALO was transferred to Double-A Binghamton.

METS UPDATE: The Mets (22-24) lost to the Yankees yesterday, 9-3, at Yankee Stadium. Former Bison OF FERNANDO MARTINEZ had a pair of hits and a run scored. RHP MIKE PELFREY allowed five runs in six innings to fall to 3-4 on the season. New York is off tonight and will face the Cubs in Chicago on Tuesday.