June 2011

News & Notes: Game 80

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 (7:05 p.m.) – Coca-Cola Field
TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNet HD 713
Radio: WWKB AM 1520, bisons.com

Buffalo Bisons (34-45, T4th(-12.0), North)
RHP Jack Egbert (0-1, 6.23)

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (45-32, 1st, North)
LHP Ryan Feierabend (5-5, 6.24)

TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Bisons take on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in the first game of a four-game series at Coca-Cola Field (7:05 p.m.). The Bisons opened their season-long 10-game homestand with a four-game sweep of the Norfolk Tides. Buffalo won all four of the games by two or fewer runs. After their set with the IronPigs, the Bisons host the Chiefs for two games, July 2-3.

VS. THE IRONPIGS: Buffalo is 3-5 against the IronPigs this season. The clubs split a four-game series in Buffalo, April 22-25, and Lehigh Valley won three of four at Coca-Cola Park, April 30-May 3. Despite being outscored in the series, 39-32, the Bisons have hit .283 against IronPig pitching this season. Lehigh Valley hitters have just a .215 mark against the Herd.

ON THE BUMP: RHP JACK EGBERT will finally make his Coca-Cola Field debut tonight. The righty was claimed by the Mets off waivers (Chicago-AL) during the 2010 off-season but suffered an arm injury in spring training. All told, Egbert spent 191 games on the Bisons disabled list over the last season and a half. In his first Bisons start on Thursday in Durham, Egbert allowed three runs in 4.1 innings in a defeat to the Bulls.

EVANS ALMIGHTY: INF NICK EVANS stretched his hit streak to 17 games last night, the first Bisons player to reach that mark since 2007. Four years ago, outfielders FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ and BEN FRANCISCO each had 17-game stretches. In his streak, Evans has averaged .477 (31-65) with 10 doubles, two homers, 14RBI and 14 runs scored. Only four Bisons players have reached 20 games with a hit streak in the modern era.

ROSTER MOVE: INF ZACH LUTZ has been placed on the disabled list, retroactive to June 25, with a concussion. The slugger was hit in the head with a pitch on Friday night by Norfolk’s Steve Johnson. INF JON MALO has been called up from Double-A Binghamton to fill his spot. Malo has hit .154 (4-26) in 16 games with the Herd this year. Also, RHP JOSE DE LA TORRE has been transferred off the Bisons disabled list and to the Gulf Coast League Mets. The reliever has missed the last 37 games with a right shoulder strain.

METS UPDATE: The Mets (39-39) were off yesterday as they begin a three-game series at Comerica Park against the Tigers. In their last two games in Texas, New York scored 22 runs in a pair of wins over the Rangers. Tonight the Mets send former Bisons RHP R.A. DICKEY to the mound against the Tigers (7:05 p.m.).

Cohoon, Bisons broom Tides

The Bisons completed their first four-game sweep since August 2010, closing out the Norfolk Tides 4-3 behind southpaw starter Mark Cohoon Monday night at Coca Cola Field.

In his second win and first quality start, Cohoon left the game after a season-high six innings, allowing three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

Cohoon credited his strong outing to balance and pitch location.

“Today, I finally had the ball down in the zone,” Cohoon said. “I’ve been struggling with it the whole time, struggling with my balance. Ricky (Bones) has been doing real well getting me balanced out with all of my mechanics and everything. Today I felt good having my fastball down and away and a good changeup.”

The four-game sweep also equals a season-long win streak.

For the second consecutive game, the Bisons (34-45) scored three runs in the bottom of the first. Jason Botts’ single scored two with the bases loaded before Luis Hernandez added a third on his single.

The Tides quickly answered with a two-run Brendan Harris home run in the second.

“After that, he really became stingy,” Manager Tim Teufel said of Cohoon.

Buffalo loaded the bases again in the second, when Nick Evans picked up an RBI on a groundout to score Bubba Bell, pushing the lead to 4-2.

“When you score four runs in the first two innings, you can just relax a little bit more, make some pitches and get comfortable and Cohoon did that and took us as far as he can go,” Teufel said.

Evans extended his Triple-A hitting streak to 17 games, passing Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Michael Fisher for the longest of any Bison on the year.

Norfolk again cut the lead to one when Brandon Snyder drove in John Hester, who walked, from first with a double.

Buffalo twice ended innings with runners out at the plate, as Norfolk threw out Botts in the first and Valentino Pascucci in the fifth.

Norfolk starter Rick VandenHurk took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits, also with four strikeouts and two walks.

Reliever Josh Rupe held the Herd to the one-run lead with perfect seventh and eighth innings, including two strikeouts, but Ryota Igarashi shut the door with a four-out save.

Game Notes: Pascucci hit his 18th double of the season… The Herd defense turned the first double play of any team on the season against Norfolk’s Matt Angle on a hard grounder directly to the second baseman, Hernandez.

News & Notes: Game 79

Monday, June 27, 2011 (7:05 p.m.) – Coca-Cola Field
TV: SNY, Time Warner Cable SportsNet 13 
Radio: WWKB AM 1520, bisons.com

Buffalo Bisons (33-45, T4th(-12.0), North)
LHP Mark Cohoon (1-4, 8.39)

Norfolk Tides (29-47, 4th(-13.0), South)
RHP Rick VandenHurk (5-7, 4.65)

TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Bisons take on the Norfolk Tides in the finale of a four-game series at Coca-Cola Field (7:05 p.m.). The Bisons have won the first three games of the series by scores of 4-2, 6-5 and 5-3. They look to capture their first four-game series sweep since late last season when they defeated the Columbus Clippers at home, August 5-10. Tomorrow night, the Herd will welcome in the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

VS. THE TIDES: Buffalo is now 5-2 against the Tides this season, having won the past four contests. The Bisons split a four-game series against the Tides last week in Norfolk. Buffalo is 15-7 in their last 22 games against the Tides and has owned the series since 1998. The Bisons are 29 games over .500 and own a .636 winning percentage over Norfolk in the last 13-plus seasons.

ON THE BUMP: LHP MARK COHOON makes his sixth start of the season for the Herd tonight. In his last start against Durham, Mark worked 4.2 innings and allowed three earned runs and a season-high 10 hits. The left-hander will be looking to earn his first victory at Coca-Cola Field. Cohoon’s last win came on the road May 30 against the Charlotte Knights (5.0IP, 5R, K).

PASCUCCI’S POWER: INF VALENTINO PASCUCCI hit a two-run homer in yesterday’s matinee, bringing his total to 10 on the season to go along with 49RBI. Pascucci is tied for sixth in the International League in RBI and is only six behind the league leader (CHA Dayan Viciedo, 55). Since May 10, the slugger is first in the IL with 44RBI. Pascucci is tied with OF LUCAS DUDA for the team lead with 10 home runs on the season.

EVANS ALMIGHTY: With another hit tonight, INF NICK EVANS can become only the 13th Bisons’ player in the modern era to record a 17 game hit streak.  Two other Bisons players have notched 16-game stretches this season, but failed to reach 17 (OF KIRK NIEUWENHUIS, INF MICHAEL FISHER). Evans’s 16-game stretch has been loud with 12 multi-hit games and a .492 (30-61) batting average. In the streak, Evans has 10 doubles, two homers, 13RBI and 13 runs scored. On the season, the slugger has 22 multi-hit performances, eight more than any other Bisons player.

METS UPDATE: The Mets (39-39) defeated Texas yesterday afternoon, 8-5. Former Bisons RHP DILLON GEE earned his team-high eighth victory of the season, allowing three runs over six innings. INF JOSE REYES had four hits and scored three times. The Mets have an off day today, before they travel to Comerica Park to take on the Detroit Tigers starting on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.

Pascucci, Bisons roll past Tides

Valentino Pascucci broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning with a towering two-run blast over the left field screen and out of Coca Cola Field, putting the Bisons ahead of the Norfolk Tides for a 5-3 win Sunday afternoon.

“Once I hit that one, I knew it was gone,” Pascucci said. “I think a few people did. I think I might have heard (hitting coach Mike) Easler yelling from the dugout.”

Starter Chris Schwinden ran into early trouble with a leadoff walk to Matt Angle, a Tyler Henson single and a line-drive blast over the left field wall by Jake Fox, giving Norfolk a quick 3-0 lead.

However Tides starter Chris George fared no easier in the bottom of the stanza, allowing three runs on five hits, including Nick Evans’ 12th double of the season and a two-run double by Fernando Martinez.

“That’s the sign that you’re looking for as a team to bounce back from that first inning,” Pascucci said.

Evans extended his Bisons hit streak to 16 games, the third Buffalo batter to hit that mark. Going 2-for-2 with two walks and two runs, Evans has 12 multi-hit games over the streak.

Schwinden rebounded from the Fox home run, retiring 17 straight batters with perfect second through sixth innings. He topped his own mark for most consecutive outs by a Herd pitcher, 16 at Louisville May 16.

Buffalo manager Tim Teufel credited Schwinden’s turnaround to mental toughness.

“He was showing that he can execute under pressure,” Teufel said. “Certainly today was a day where he had to make adjustments early in the game and he made those adjustments.

Earning his fifth win of the season, Schwinden allowed three earned runs on three hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.

Schwinden said he told himself to throw strikes after the early trouble.

“They put some good swings on, but didn’t really connect and it turned out for the best,” he added.

While Schwinden shut down the Tides, George also tossed scoreless second through sixth innings, stranding five base runners over that stretch.

George exited the game with the game still tied, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

Taylor Tankersley threw a one-two-three eighth inning before Dale Thayer’s scoreless ninth for his team-high fifth save.

With Brandon Snyder on first, Martinez caught a fly ball from Josh Bell on the right field warning track just short of a game-tying home run.

Game Notes: The win clinched the second home series win of the season for the Bisons… Pascucci tied Lucas Duda for the team lead with 10 home runs on the season… Pascucci also leads the Herd with 49 RBI.

News & Notes: Game 78

Sunday, June 26, 2011 (1:05 p.m.) – Coca-Cola Field
Radio: WWKB AM 1520, bisons.com

Buffalo Bisons (32-45, T4th(-12.0), North)
RHP Chris Schwinden (4-3, 3.05)

Norfolk Tides (29-46, 4th(-12.0), South)
LHP Chris George (3-3, 4.06)

TODAY’S GAME: This afternoon, the Bisons take on the Norfolk Tides in the third game of a four game series at Coca-Cola Field (1:05 p.m.). The Bisons have won the first two games of the series by scores of 4-2 and 6-5. Following tomorrow’s series finale, the Herd will welcome in Lehigh Valley as they continue their season-long 10-game homestand.

VS. THE TIDES: Buffalo is now 4-2 against the Tides this season, having won the past three contests. The Bisons split a four-game series against the Tides last week in Norfolk. Buffalo is 14-7 in their last 21 games against the Tides and have owned the series since 1998. The Bisons have a .632 winning percentage (67-39) in the last 13-plus seasons.

SCHWING AND MISS: RHP CHRIS SCHWINDEN leads the Bisons in the pitching triple crown with four wins, 60 strikeouts and a 3.05ERA. His ERA also ranks as the 8th best in the International League. Schwinden was victorious his last time out, allowing just one run in six innings on Tuesday in Durham. Schwinden’s last win at home came May 6 against Louisville (6.0IP, 0R, 5K).

MR. WALK-OFF: OF JESUS FELICIANO had the game-winning single in the 11th inning last night and now has four walk-off winners in his Bisons career. He had the Bisons last previous winner with a two-run single on May 5 against Louisville. Feliciano’s first walk-off hit also came against the Tides, a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth of a 5-3 win on May 11, 2009.

SWEET 16?: INF NICK EVANS can become the third Bisons player to reach 16 games with a hit streak. His 15-game stretch has been loud with 11 multi-hit games and a .475 (28-59) batting average. In the streak, Evans has nine doubles, two homers, 13RBI and 11 runs scored. The stretch has also raised Evans season batting average 85 points from .215 to an even .300.

BISONS BITS: INF NICK EVANS has hit .300 (15-50) off lefties, .300 (39-130) off righties and .300 (15-50) with runners in scoring position…The Bisons are now 3-0 in extra-inning games at home this season…INF VALENTINO PASCUCCI’S 47 walks are five more times than any batter in the IL.

METS UPDATE: The Mets (38-39) put up an eight-run sixth inning in a 14-5 win at Texas last night. Former Bisons OF LUCAS DUDA had four hits, including three doubles, and four RBI in the win. OF CARLOS BELTRAN also had three hits and three RBI. The Mets and Rangers play the rubber-match of their series today at 1:10 p.m.