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Bisons still searching for offense

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

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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |