May 2011

Big fifth backs Stinson

A balanced offensive effort and a quality start by Josh Stinson helped the Bisons even the series at one with the Charlotte Knights with a 7-5 win Sunday afternoon at Coca Cola Field.

The Bisons filled the stat sheet with seven players recording hits, seven scoring a run and six driving in at least one.

The Herd broke through against Knights starter Matt Zaleski in the third, set up with the bases loaded and no outs. After a Valentino Pascucci strikeout, Jason Botts drove in his first run with the squad, reaching on a fielder’s choice that scored Michael Fisher.

Bubba Bell, Jesus Feliciano, Chin-Lung Hu and Raul Chavez each drove in a run in the fifth, each with RBI singles over just five pitches. Chavez later added another RBI, with a single to knock in Hu in the seventh.

“It was great to see all those two-out hits,” manager Tim Teufel said. “We haven’t had an inning like that in a long time where four guys came up and delivered and we certainly got that today.”

Pascucci added to the lead the next inning with a deep solo shot to left field off of Zaleski and out of the ballpark.

Hu recorded his first three hits with the team after going 0-for-4 in his debut Saturday night. The Taiwanese infielder started the season with the Mets, but the major league club sent him down for more at-bats.

“He didn’t get much playing time up there and was used sparingly,” Teufel said. “I think he’s going to be that guy that we bounce around a little bit. We’re going to put him at different positions.”

Hu agreed he’s in Buffalo to see more time.

“The reason they sent me down was to get more at-bats and get hot and not sit on the bench and I can’t do anything about that,” Hu said.

Stinson allowed three runs (all earned) over 6.1 innings on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

Teufel said the big inning helped Stinson on the mound.

“It gives Stinson a little breathing room, which I think he needed and he hasn’t had that,” Teufel said. “He had an outstanding outing.”

Charlotte hit three solo homers, two by Dayan Viciedo and another by Michael Restovich in the ninth. After the leadoff blast by Restovich, Dale Thayer rebounded to close out the game for his fourth save.

Game Notes: Before the game, the Mets transfered infielder Jonathan Malo to AA Binghamton… Major leaguer Bobby Parnell continued his minor league rehab, recording one out after walking a batter and allowing a double… Pascucci’s home run marked his team-leading 21st RBI.

News & Notes: Game 45

Sunday, May 22, 2011 (1:05 p.m.) – Coca-Cola Field
Radio: WWKB AM 1520, bisons.com

Buffalo Bisons (18-26, T5th(-9.0), North)
RHP Josh Stinson (1-4, 6.32)

Charlotte Knights (20-21, 3rd(-3.5), South)
RHP Matt Zaleski (NR)

TODAY’S GAME: This afternoon, the Bisons take on the Charlotte Knights in the second game of a four-game series from Coca-Cola Field (1:05 p.m.). The Herd opened their eight-game homestand last night, falling to the Knights by a 6-3 score. Buffalo is now 11-12 in 23 games at home this season.

VS. THE KNIGHTS: The Knights took the early 1-0 lead in the 2011 season series with last night’s 6-3 win. 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 49-56 against the Knights for a .467 winning percentage. Buffalo is also 27-29 against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

TODAY’S STARTER: RHP JOSH STINSON is making his eighth start of the season today, tying him with RHP CHRIS SCHWINDEN for most on the team. Stinson is looking to snap a personal three-game losing streak that has dropped his record to 1-4. The righty has pitched great at home this season, with a 1-0 record and a 2.55ERA in three starts (17.2IP, 10H, 8K).

GONE FISHIN’: INF MICHAEL FISHER brings a six-game hit streak into today’s game. The Triple-A rookie smashed an RBI-double last night and has hit an even .500 (12-24) since May 15. Included in Fisher’s hit streak are four multi-hit performances, five RBI and three runs scored. On the year, the infielder is hitting .412 (14-34) in his first nine Triple-A games.

TOLLS FOR US: In his Coca-Cola Field debut last night, OF BUBBA BELL showed his skills in a pair of unique doubleplays. In the first inning, he caught Tyler Flower’s fly ball and then made a great throw to third base to beat Jim Gallagher trying to advance on the play. Then in the fourth inning, Bell alertly got caught in a rundown to allow a run to score before the Knights could complete an inning-ending doubleplay.

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 44 games. He has made 40 starts in centerfield, two in right and two as the designated hitter…Nieuwenhuis ranks 4th in the IL in doubles (15) and total bases (86).

METS UPDATE: The Mets (22-23) allowed four home runs as they lost to the Yankees, 7-3, last night in the Subway Series. Former Bison INF JUSTIN TURNER set a team record by becoming the first rookie to drive in a run in seven straight games. The rubber match of the three-game set it today at 1:05 p.m.

Big inning sinks Schwinden, Bisons

Chris Schwinden shut out Charlotte for four innings, but a five-run fifth inning, including a right-field grand slam by Jim Gallagher gave the Knights all the offense they needed in a 6-3 win Saturday night at Coca Cola Field.

Schwinden left after six complete innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits with six strikeouts, two walks and a hit batter. Schinden’s record fell to 3-2.

Buffalo’s defense twice victimized Charlotte’s Tyler Flowers for inning-ending double plays. In the first, Flowers flew out to right fielder Bubba Bell before Bell nailed Gallagher with a spot-on throw to third. Flowers also grounded into a double play to short.

However an errant throw for a double play opportunity by second baseman Michael Fisher gave Charlotte their first run in the fifth, setting up Gallagher.

“It was a double-play grounder a couple steps to his left,” manager Tim Teufel said. “If he had to do it all over again he probably would’ve made a good throw but he just hooked it a little bit and got away from (short stop Chin-Lung) Hu and next thing you know it opened up the inning.”

Fisher blamed himself for the loss, but praised Schwinden.

“That definitely was a very untimely thing and I pretty much take full responsibility for this game,” Fisher said. “That was a routine double play and unfortunately I just didn’t make it and Schwinden pitched great. He did.”

Fisher picked up his sixth RBI and fifth in four games, driving in Valentino Pascucci with a double.

“Fish has been swinging well,” Teufel said. “He’s hitting over .400 (.412), which is outstanding for him coming up from AA.”

Pascucci increased his team-leading RBI total to 20 with a sixth-inning single that scored Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Charlotte starter Freddy Dolsi picked up the win, giving up three runs (all earned) on four hits over six innings. Brian Bruney closed out the ninth, shutting down a rally attempt with two men on base for the save.

Game Notes: Bruney appeared in eight games as a Bison last season…Hu and left fielder Jason Botts made their Bison debuts after joining the team Friday…Bell and Luis Figueroa played their first games at Coca Cola Field after joining the team at the start of its eight-game road trip…Charlotte pitchers hit three Buffalo batters, including pinch hitter Luis Hernandez, who took a ball off the helmet from Bruney.

News & Notes: Game 44

Saturday, May 21, 2011 (7:05 p.m.) – Coca-Cola Field
Radio: WWKB AM 1520, bisons.com

Buffalo Bisons (18-25, T5th(-8.0), North)
RHP Chris Schwinden (3-1, 1.82)

Charlotte Knights (19-21, 3rd(-4.5), South)
RHP Freddy Dolsi (2-3, 8.17)

FOR THE FANS: Since record temperatures were NOT reached in Buffalo today, the Bisons will offer all fans a $7.00 TICKET and a FREE Hot Dog/Drink at tonight’s game.

TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Bisons take on the Charlotte Knights in the first game of a four-game series from Coca-Cola Field (7:05 p.m.). Today’s game opens up an eight-game in nine-day homestand for the Herd as they will also welcome in the Gwinnett Braves, May 26-29. The Bisons are coming off a 3-5 roadtrip and a 3-2 loss to the Indianapolis Indians on Friday night.

SCHWING AND MISS: RHP CHRIS SCHWINDEN will make his team-high eighth start of the year tonight. The Triple-A rookie has stormed onto the scene with the second-lowest ERA in the International League at 1.82. He has allowed one run or less in five of his seven starts, including none in a season-high seven innings in his last outing, May 16 in Louisville. Opponents are hitting just .184 with one home run in 141 at bats against Schwinden this year.

VS. THE KNIGHTS: Today’s game is the Bisons’ first against Charlotte this season. It’s also the Herd’s first match up against a team from the IL South Division. Last year, the teams split their eight-game season series with each club winning three games in their home ballpark.

GONE FISHIN’: INF MICHAEL FISHER has posted four consecutive multi-hit games as part of his five-game hit streak. The 26-year old is hitting .433 (13-30) with a home run and five RBI in his first eight games since being promoted from Double-A Binghamton on May 12. In his short time, Fisher has posted a .800 (4-5) average with runners in scoring position.

YOUR NEW HOME: The Herd’s active roster features four players who have yet to play at Coca-Cola Field with the Bisons. OF JASON BOTTS was signed yesterday out of the independent Atlantic League and INF CHIN-LUNG HU joined the club Friday after beginning the season with New York. INF LUIS FIGUEROA was signed and OF BUBBA BELL was acquired in a trade with Cleveland on May 13 -the first day of the Herd’s most recent roadtrip.

BISONS BITS: The Bisons are the only team in the International League that has yet to allow a passed ball…RHP DALE THAYER has not allowed a run over his last 8.2 innings of work over eight appearances…C CHARLIE ‘DOCK’ DOYLE joined the Bisons on Friday from extended spring training.

METS UPDATE: The Mets opened the 2011 Subway Series with a 2-1 win over the Yankees. Former Bison RHP R.A. DICKEY allowed just one run in six innings for the win. Former Bisons INF DANIEL MURPHY snapped the 1-1 tie with a home run in the sixth inning. The Mets take on the Yankees again today at 7:10 p.m.

Bisons fall in trip finale

The Bisons threatened Indianapolis in the eighth and ninth innings Friday at Victory Field but couldn’t put across the tying run.

In the ninth inning the Bisons got Michael Fisher into scoring position, but Indians Leftfielder John Bowker made a diving catch and a great throw to second getting Fisher sprinting back to the base ending the game in dramatic fashion, 3-2.

The Herd got within one in the eighth but were stopped short of a tie when Indians second baseman Josh Harrison made a diving stop and then a quick throw to get Valentino Pascucci.

The Bisons hit into three double-plays in the first four innings of the game allowing Indianapolis starter Rudy Owens to face one batter over the minimum through the first four innings. Owens went seven innings giving up seven hits and striking out two.

It was Owens longest start of the season since his first start on April 11 against the Toledo Mud Hens, and got his first win since April 16.

The Indians threatened to blow the game wide open in the third inning after Bisons starter D.J. Carrasco gave up a single to Bowker and walked Andrew Lambo and Dusty Brown back-to-back loading the bases with one out.

Tribe third baseman Andy Marte doubled into right-center-field scoring Bowker from third. Lambo was thrown out at home by Michael Fisher, leaving Dusty Brown on third and Marte on second with two outs.

Raul Chavez picked Brown off third base to escape the third inning and limit the damage to one run.

Carrasco kept the Bisons in the game until the fifth inning when he gave up a soft-single to Brown. Marte followed Brown with a homerun over the left-field wall making the score, 3-1.

The Bisons scored their second run in the eighth inning with three consecutive singles. Luis Figueroa scored on a single by Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Figueroa scored both of the Bisons runs.

Game Notes: The Bisons are just 7-16 in their last 23 games against Indianapolis…D.J. Carrasco has not allowed more than three runs in any of his four starts…The Bisons finish the road trip, 3-5.

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