by Amy Moritz
The Buffalo Bisons aren't out of their offensive slump. Not yet.
The Herd did finally win, getting five runs on 11 hits in Thursday's School Kids' Day win over the Toledo Mud Hens.
But a glance at tonight's lineup for the final game of the series with the Mud Hens (7:05 p.m., Radio 1520) shows that the Bisons need some more consistent offensive production.
The last three hitters in the Herd's lineup are all hitting below .200 -- Andy LaRoche (.179), Kenny Wilson (.167) and Jonathan Diaz (.113). The Bisons are not the worst hitting club in the International League. That dubious honor goes to Charlotte with the Knights collectively batting .232. But the Herd's .251 average is the prime reason they have slipped below .500 and from first to a three-way tie for third in the IL North Division.
Best hitter: Amid the offensive woes, leadoff man Darin Mastroianni is on an eight-game hitting streak. During the run he has batted .438 with five runs scored and three stolen bases while driving in six runs.
Nolin returns: Lefty Sean Nolin returns to the mound after missing 20 games with a left groin strain. It will be Nolin's eighth start of the season with the Herd. He has a 2-2 mark with a 2.70 earned run average.
Romero to the DL: Friday afternoon the Bisons put lefty Ricky Romero on the disabled list with a strained right calf. Romero suffered the injury in his last start which came on Sunday at Coca-Cola Field.
Hessman watch: Mike Hessman is in the lineup for Toledo tonight, still chasing sole ownership of the all-time home run record in the IL. He remains tied with Bisons legend Ollie Carnegie with 258 home runs.
Tonight's Bisons' lineup:
Darin Mastroianni -- CF
Ryan Goins -- SS
Jared Goedert -- 3B
Dan Johnson -- 1B
A.J. Jimenez -- C
Matt Tuiasosopo -- LF
Andy LaRoche -- DH
Kenny Wilson -- RF
Jonathan Diaz -- 2B