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Gose returns to the lineup

By Rodney McKissic

Anthony Gose will start in left field and will bat ninth for tonight's game against Durham.

Gose was benched for two games for poor fielding then failing to throw the ball to the cut off man in time in the Bisons' loss to Gwinnett on Wednesday. Gose's lapse in concentrate cost the Herd two runs in the ninth inning.

Bisons manager Marty Brown said Gose's place in the battling order in the future will be determined by his performance. Gose generally hits first or second.

Brown said he spoke with Gose at length about his approach to the game on Friday.

"There's no guarantees in this game," Brown said prior to Saturday's game. "It's difficult in this day and age with the sense of entitlement, lack of accountability, it's a different game. ... It boils down to when a player has heart and goes out and plays the game the right way, then everything irons itself out."

Gose is hitting .228, with a pair of homers and 15 RBIs in 53 games for the Bisons.

Here is the starting lineup for tonight's game:

Jose Reyes, ss
Kevin Pillar, cf
Mauro Gomez, 1b
Luis Jimenez, dh
Moises Sierra, rf
Jim Negrych, 3b
Ryan Goins, 2b
Mike Nickeas, c
Anthony Gose, lf
Chad Jenkins, p

Jose Reyes Arrives in Buffalo

Reyes photo

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz

"Hello my people! I'm on my way to Buffalo"

That's how Jose Reyes began his video on Instagram as he rode from Toronto to Buffalo for his three-game Major League rehabilitation stint with the Bisons.

Reyes will start at shortstop and leadoff the batting order for the Herd when they host the Durham Bulls tonight at Coca-Cola Field (7:05 p.m., TWCS, Radio 1520). He said he will play nine innings tonight, with that being the plan for the next two games as well although he may make one start as a designated hitter.

Reyes, the four-time All Star and 2011 National League batting champion, injured his ankle on April 12 in Toronto while sliding into second base. His rehab has been ahead of schedule and he comes to Buffalo after playing three games with Single-A Dunedin where he hit .417 (5-12) and more importantly became comfortable again running the bases.

"I'm glad that I'm here, so close to go to the big leagues again. I'm so happy," Reyes said this afternoon as he met the media in the Bisons dugout.

"I was able to steal a base. I was able to score from first on a double," Reyes said of his time with Dunedin. "That kind of indicated that I’m good, so I don’t know that I’m 100 percent because it’s going to come with time, but I’m very close."

While this is the first time Reyes will be in a Bisons uniform, it's not his first trip to Coca-Cola Field. He played three games here in 2003, June 4-6, as a 19-year-old with the New York Mets organization.

"I don’t remember too much but I remember a little," Reyes laughed. "It was a good memory."

Good memories and a warm reception, too, from his Bisons' teammates.

"I know most of the guys here," he said. "We were together in spring training. A lot of Latin players that I know too from the Dominican. I feel like I’m home. I hope I can get through the games and go to the big leagues as soon as possible."

Here is the full audio of Reyes' session with the media

Jose Reyes

Pillar Debuts: The first day in Triple A is a big career step in the life of a professional baseball player. For Kevin Pillar, his debut comes batting second after All-Star Jose Reyes. Pillar was promoted to Buffalo from Double-A New Hampshire and the outfielder will start in center. In his third year of pro ball, Pillar hit .313 with 20 doubles and 30 runs batted in in 71 games with the Fisher Cats. To make room on the roster, outfielder Ryan Langerhans was released.

Webber gets the start: Thad Webber makes his third start for the Herd and is coming off a stellar outing in Pawtucket. On June 15, he did not allow a hit in the seven innings he pitched, allowing just one walk with eight strikeouts. A homerun by Alex Hassan in the eighth broke up the team's no-hit bid.

No Gose: For the record, Anthony Gose is sitting his second straight game. Gose botched a play in center field on Wednesday night, an error which cost the Herd, and pitcher Ricky Romero, a win. Manager Marty Brown has voiced his displeasure at Gose's mental approach to the game. 

Tonight's Bisons' Lineup:
Jose Reyes -- SS
Kevin Pillar -- CF
Mauro Gomez -- DH
Luis Jimenez -- 1B
Moises Sierra -- RF
Jim Negrych -- 3B
Eugenio Velz -- LF
Ryan Goins -- 2B
Sean Ochinko -- C 

Gose takes a seat for the Herd

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz

Shocking to, well no one, Anthony Gose is not in this afternoon's Buffalo Bisons' lineup. The centerfielder had a plain bad defensive play in the ninth inning last night which allowed Gwinnett to score two runs, take a 5-4 lead, and ruin a perfectly fine outing for Ricky Romero who was in line to pick up his first win in 12 appearances, dating back to last season.

(Mike Harrington offers his take on last night's game along video of the dubious play.)

Before the game, manager Marty Brown was terse when discussing Gose.

Is Gose not in the lineup on purpose after last night?

“What do you think? Yeah, he needs a day to think," Brown said.

Last night when asked about Gose's play since returning to the Bisons after a stint with the Toronto Blue Jays, Brown said, "We have to get his head removed from a place it shouldn’t be."

Moises Sierra will start at centerfield for this afternoon's game (1:05 p.m., TWCS, Radio 1520).

Germano gets the start: Justin Germano (4-5, 6.22) takes the mound for the Herd. He als allowed tow earned runs or less in three straight starts with his earned run average 3.18 during June. In his last outing, a no-decision on Friday in Pawtucket, Germano allowed just two runs in five innings.

Quality starts: The Bisons starting pitching has been putting up some nice numbers lately. In the last even games, the rotation has five quality starts and a 2.23 ERA. The group has allowed just 26 hits and 12 walks over 40 1/3 innings while striking out 31.

LaRoche to the DL: Andy LaRoche moved to the disabled list, retroactive to June 19. LaRoche felt some tightness in his arm after a throw in Tuesday's game. The Herd activated infielder Eugenio Velez off the temporary inactive list to fill the spot.

Today's Bisons' Lineup:
Mike McCoy -- 2B
Jim Negrych -- 3B
Mauro Gomez -- 1B
Luis Jimenez -- DH
Moises Sierra -- CF
Ricardo Nanita -- LF
Sean Ochinko -- C
Ryan Goins -- SS
Ryan Langerhans -- RF 

Romero back to the mound

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz

Ricky Romero will look build momentum tonight as he makes his eighth start for the Buffalo Bisons in tonight's game against Gwinnett at Coca-Cola Field.

Romero had his first quality start of the season on June 14 in Pawtucket, pitching six innings of shutout ball while giving up two hits, two walks with three strikeouts. He took a no-decision as the Herd dropped a 1-0 game to the PawSox.

LaRoche gets a rest: Andy LaRoche made his first start of the season at second base Tuesday night, but that lasted only an inning and a half. LaRoche experienced some tightness in his arm after making a throw in the top of the second inning. He is being evaluated and manager Marty Brown said he is day to day.

Reyes shuffling to Buffalo: Four-time All-Star Jose Reyes will be bringing his rehabilitation show to Buffalo on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Reyes has been out of the Toronto Blue Jays lineup after injurying his ankle while sliding into second base on April 12. Check out Mike Harrington's post for more details on the Reyes rehab.

Tonight's Bison Lineup:
Mike McCoy -- 2B
Anthony Gose -- CF
Mauro Gomez -- DH
Moises Sierra -- RF
Jim Negrych -- 3B
Ricardo Nanita -- LF
Sean Ochinko -- 1B
Ryan Goins -- SS
MIke Nickeas -- C

Designated hitters hot for Bisons

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz

Offense continues to be the source of strength for the Buffalo Bisons and the designated hitters have been helping the Herd's cause. Nine different players have been in the DH spot for the Herd this season and collectively they are batting .310 with 17 home runs and 46 runs batted in.

Luis Jimenez and Mauro Gomez have made 51 of the 69 starts at DH. Jimenez gets the call in the spot tonight when the Herd hosts Gwinnett (7:05 p.m., TWCS, Radio 1520). Jimenez is hitting .348 with five home runs and 19 RBI when he is the DH.

Overall in the International League, the Herd ranks second in team batting (.276) behind Durham (.286) but is dead last in pitching (5.03 ERA).

Bush gets the start: Dave Bush will make his 12th start for the Herd. He leads the team in wins (seven) and ERA (4.23). In his last start, June 9 against Scranton/Wilkes Barre in Moosic, Pa., he pitched six scoreless innings giving up just two hits with five strikeouts to pick up the win.

Gomez hits for power: Mauro Gomez leads the International League with 18 home runs. But the interesting note -- only three of those have come at home.

Tonight's Bison lineup:

Anthony Gose -- CF
Jim Negrych -- 3B
Mauro Gomez -- 1B 
Luis Jimenez -- DH
Moises Sierra -- RF
Ricardo Nanita -- LF
Andy LaRoche -- 2B
Ryan Goins -- SS
Sean Ochinko -- C 

Bisons begin four-game set with Braves

By Rodney McKissic

The Buffalo Bisons, coming off a 3-5 road trip through Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Pawtucket, tonight take on the Gwinnett Braves in the first of a four-game series. Todd Redmond (1-1, 10.24) starts his third game for the Herd against Omar Poveda (5-3, 3.01).

Here is the starting lineup for tonight's game:

Anthony Gose, cf
Jim Negrych, 2b
Mauro Gomez, dh
Luis Jimenez, 1b
Moises Sierra, rf
Ryan Langerhans, lf
Andy LaRoche, 3b
Ryan Goins, ss
Mike Nicheas, c
Todd Redmond, p

Bisons rained out

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz 

The Buffalo Bisons can't escape the rain on their road trip. The series opener for the Herd in Pawtucket today was postponed due to rain. The teams will play a doubleheader on Friday starting at 5:35 p.m. Both games will be scheduled for seven innings.

Ricky Romero will get his seventh start for the Herd in the opener. He is still looking for his first win as a Bison. He is 0-1 with five no-decisions.

Meanwhile, Andy LaRoche cleared waivers and was outrighted to the Bisons. In one game with the Toronto Blue Jays, the third baseman went 0 for 4 with a strikeout while starting at third base. With the Bisons, he hit .282, driving in 32 runs. 

Bisons are takers of the road

By Mike Harrington

MOOSIC, Pa. -- Sunday's 4-1 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders continued the Bisons' odd trend of dominance on the road as compared to scuffling at home.

The win gave the Bisons a 20-12 record on the road, tied with Pawutcket for the best mark in the International League (click here for the full IL standings). Buffalo is just 14-16 in Coca-Cola Field, one of four North Division teams better out of their home park.

"No idea why," said infielder Jim Negrych. "I wish I did know. It seems like offensively we swing the bats good at home. It will come there. If we get the pitching like we have the last couple weeks, we're a tough team to face anywhere."

The Bisons are simply scoring more on the road and batting with more power, with 46 of their 72 home runs. That's especially true for IL home run leader Mauro Gomez, who is batting just .217 in Coca-Cola Field with three homers and nine RBIs -- but is at .295-13-28 on the road.

Continue reading "Bisons are takers of the road" »

Bisons make return to Scranton

SWB pic 1
SWB pic II

By Mike Harrington

MOOSIC, Pa. -- The Bisons are back at PNC Field tonight for the first time since Sept. 5, 2011 but it's not the same place they made regular visits to during their stints in both the Triple-A Alliance and the International League.

The home of the newly-christened Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders was completely reconstructed during the last year (Remember, the then-SWB Yankees played the whole year on the road!) and it's quite an improvement for both specators and players. There's a 360-degree open concourse, grass berm in the outfield, party areas, HD video boards and a club level complete with buffet restaurant.

The huge concrete cavern of an upper deck is gone. The place seats about 7,200 with room for another couple thousand in the outfield. It's intimate and scenic, on the base of Montage Mountain. It's about a 4-hour drive from Buffalo and worth the trip. Be sure to look for a big look at the park next week in The News.

Continue reading "Bisons make return to Scranton" »

Happy (rainy) School Kids' Day

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz

Welcome to a rainy morning at Coca-Cola Field. The annual School Kids' Day has a scheduled first pitch at 10:35 a.m. with over 125 schools expected at the ballpark. The tarp is on the field with a light rain falling, but word in the pressbox is that the game is scheduled to start on time. Stay tuned on Twitter (@amymoritz) for weather-related updates.

Romero Makes Start: Lefty Ricky Romero makes his sixth start with the Herd today but just his second at Coca-Cola Field. His last outing was Saturday in Norfolk where he pitched a six-inning no-decision with no walks -- a significant statistic for Romero who is trying to find his mechanics which mysteriously fell apart last season. An American League All Star in 2011 when he won a career-best 15 games, he was the Blue Jays Opening Day starter last season and won four straight decisions. He ended the season losing 13 straight and has been trying to get back to form ever since.

Gomez hits for power: Mauro Gomez has eight home runs in his last 10 games after hitting a solo blast in last night's 5-3 loss. The eight home runs are two more than any player in minor league baseball since May 26. He now is tied for the most homers in the International League this season with 15.

Brown is back: Marty Brown returns to the dugout today after serving a three-game suspension for his antics and ejection in Norfolk on Sunday.

Today's Bisons' Lineup:
Ryan Goins -- SS
Jim Negrych -- 2B
Luis Jimenez -- DH
Mauro Gomez -- 1B
Josh Thole -- C
Moises Sierra -- RF
Andy LaRoche -- 3B
Ryan Langerhans -- CF
Ricardo Nanita -- LF 

Bisons beat Indians, 6-5

By Rodney McKissic

The Buffalo Bisons scored four runs in the first inning, powered by back-to-back home runs by Mauro Gomez and Josh Thole, then held off a late Indianapolis rally in the ninth to defeat the Indians, 6-5, today at Coca-Cola Field.

The Bisons split the four-game set with the Tribe (34-17) and begin an eight-game road trip to Durham and Norfolk on Monday.

With two outs and one on, Gomez launched a shot over the fence in left center, followed by Thole who parked a Brooks Brown offering in the same spot. The Herd (28-20) loaded the bases and Brown walked in the fourth run.

The Indians rallied late by scoring three runs in the ninth inning but reliever Neil Wagner, who picked up his 13th save on the year, got Felix Pie to fly out to left field to end the game.

Dave Bush (5-4) went five complete innings to pick up the win, while Ryan Langerhans finished 3-for-4 and scored two runs for the Herd.

Left-hander Ricky Romero (0-0, 8.76 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Bisons at 5:05 p.m. tomorrow against Durham southpaw Alex Torres (2-2, 2.81).

Herd close out homestand

By Rodney McKissic

A win today would give the Bisons (27-20) a split against the IL West leading Indianapolis Indians (34-16) in this four-game set. Herd begins an eight-game road trip tomorrow in Durham.

Here is the starting lineup for today's game:

Jim Negrych, 2b
Moises Sierra, cf
Luis Jimenez, dh
Mauro Gomez, 1b
Josh Thole, c
Ryan Langerhans, rf
Ricardo Nanita, lf
Ryan Goins, ss
Mike McCoy, 3b
Dave Bush, p

Bisons hold on for 2-1 win over Indianapolis

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz

The Buffalo Bisons scored in the first inning and had a fantastic performance from its pitching staff in a 2-1 win over the Indianapolis Indians at Coca-Cola Field Saturday afternoon.

Three straight base started the first inning for the Bisons with an RBI single up the middle from Luis Jimenez giving the Herd a 1-0 lead. A wild pitch from Indianapolis starter Gerrit Cole allowed another run to score for a 2-0 lead.

Josh Johnson, making a Major League injury rehab start, threw four scoreless innings giving up one hit with one walk and three strikeouts. He threw 68 pitches, 38 of them for strikes.

Neil Wagner picked up his 12th save, striking out three of the four batters he faced to seal out the win.

The Bisons close out the homestand on Sunday with a 1:05 game.

 

Bisons look to break Indianapolis hold

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz

The Buffalo Bisons struggles against the Indianapolis Indians continue. After dropping three of four against the Indians on the road last week, the Herd dropped the series opener at Coca-Cola Field on Thursday, 7-3. That puts them at 1-4 against Indy this season. The Bisons have not won a series against the Indians in Buffalo since 2004.

Vargas on the Mound: Claudio Vargas makes his ninth start for the Herd. He leads the team in ERA (4.70) and quality starts with four. In his last outing on May 18 against Charlotte, Vargas took the loss, giving up six earned runs on seven hits in three innings.

Who's in first? The Bisons have now been tied or alone in first place of the International League North for 33 straight games, the club's longest streak since 2007. The Herd spent 65 straight games in first place and spent 76 games total in first, but failed to make the playoffs. Going into tonight's action, the Bisons are tied for first with Pawtucket.

Tonight's Bison lineup:
Mike McCoy -- CF
Jim Negrych -- 2B
Moises Sierra -- RF
Luis Jimenez -- DH
Mauro Gomez -- 1B
Andy LaRoche -- 3B
Eugenio Velez --LF
Ryan Goins -- SS
Mike Nickeas -- C

Herd opens series vs. Tribe

By Rodney McKissic

Wind and rain - elements that hindered baseball in WNY during early April - have delayed tonight's game against the Indianapolis Indians. Tonight opens a four-game set against the IL West Division leading Tribe (32-15), who are in first place by 31/2 games. The Bisons, tied for first in the IL North with a 26-18 record, split a four-game set with Charlotte which ended on Tuesday.

Here is the starting lineup for tonight's game:

Jim Negrych, 2b
Moises Sierra, cf
Luis Jimenez, 1b
Mauro Gomez, dh
Josh Thole, c
Andy LaRoche, 3b
Ryan Langerhans, rf
Ricardo Nanita, lf
Ryan Goins, ss
Justin Germano, p

Bisons offense grabs win

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz

With good situational hitting and a solid outing from the bullpen, the Buffalo Bisons earned an 11-6 win over the Charlotte Knights at Coca-Cola Field Sunday afternoon.

It was a three-hit day for Jim Negrych and Moises Sierra while Luis Jimenez drove in three runs.

The Herd trailed, 3-0, early in the game, but got four runs in the third inning. A two-out, three-run home run by Blake Tekotte put Charlotte back on top, 6-4, in the fourth but the Herd tied the game in the bottom of the inning then took the lead for good on a solo home run from Ryan Langerhans in the seventh.

The Bisons went 7 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

Chad Beck (1-0) picked up the win for the Herd, giving up one run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings.

Zach Stewart (2-5) took the loss for Charlotte, giving up seven runs on 11 hits in five innings.

The teams meet again Monday at 7:05 in Coca-Cola Field.

Redmond off the DL for the Bisons

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz

The Buffalo Bisons continue their series with the Charlotte Knights this afternoon at Coca-Cola Field. After last night's 11-6 loss, the Herd has now lost six straight home games to the Knights dating back to May of 2011.

Redmond Debut: Righty Todd Redmond will make his Bisons debut this afternoon, coming off the disable list. He missed the first 41 games with a right shoulder impingement. He has ranked in the Top 5 of the International League in strikeouts each of the last three seasons, including coming in at No. 3 in 2012 with 136 Ks combined for Gwinnett and Louisville. The Blue Jays claimed Redmond off waivers from Baltimore on March 22.

Negrych dips: Jim Negrych is now hitless in his last two games on an 0-7 skid. That dropped his batting average to .390 -- the first time he's been below .400 all season. He still ranks tops in the International League and is now fourth in all of minor league baseball. Last night he hit seventh in the lineup. Today, he is back to second.

Today's Bisons' Lineup:

Anthony Gose -- CF
Jim Negrych -- 2B
Moises Sierra -- RF
Luis Jimenez -- 1B
Mauro Gomez -- DH
Josh Thole -- C
Andy LaRoche -- 3B
Ryan Langerhans -- LF
Ryan Goins -- SS 

Bisons Open Homestand

by Amy Moritz
@amymoritz

The Buffalo Bisons return to Coca-Cola Field to open a four-game series with the Charlotte Knights. The Herd is coming off a 4-4 road trip splitting series at Louisville and Indianapolis.

Rehab assignment: Righty Dustin McGowan joined the Bisons on an MLB injury rehab assignment and is expected to throw in relief tonight. A former No. 1 pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, he missed all of 2012 with plantar fasciitis in his right foot and missed 2009 and 2010 with shoulder injuries. He pitched twice for Single-A Dunedin, striking out four in two innings of work.

Rehab assignment Part II: Charlotte's starter tonight is John Danks, who is working his way back to the Chicago White Sox after season-ending surgery on his left shoulder last August. He has 57 wins for the White Sox over six seasons with a career 4.12 ERA.

A .400 slump? Jim Negrych still leads all of minor league baseball in batting average, but the Bisons' infielder has slipped to batting .400 after batting just 7 of 24 (.292) on the Herd's road trip. Negrych, however, is hitting well in Buffalo, batting .475 (29 of 61) at Coca-Cola Field. 

Slumping starters: Speaking of slumping, the starting pitching has been problematic for the Herd. In May, the starters ERA is 7.51 coming off a road trip where the starters ERA was 8.61 (37 earned runs in 38 2/3 innings pitched). Tonight, Claudio Vargas (3-2) makes his eighth start. In his last outing, a no-decision at Louisville on May 13, he gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings.

Transactions: This afternoon, the Herd added righthanded pitcher John Stilson from Double-A New Hampshire and released righty Clint Everts. Stilson, 22, was a third-round draft pick of the Blue Jays in 2011. In two relief appearances for New Hampshire, he has one save and six strikeouts with a 3.86 ERA in 2 1/3 innings.

Tonight's Bisons' lineup:

Mike McCoy -- SS
Anthony Gose -- CF
Moises Sierra -- RF
Luis Jimenez -- DH
Mauro Gomez -- 1B
Andy LaRoche -- 3B
Jim Negrych -- 2B
Eugenio Velez -- LF
Mike NIckeas -- C 

 

Brown moves in on record

By Rodney McKissic

With a win tonight, Bisons manager Marty Brown will tie Brian Graham for the most wins in the Bisons modern era with 253. Brown won 238 games and two division titles with the Herd from 2003-05.

Here is the starting lineup for tonight's game:

Mike McCoy, ss
Anthony Gose, cf
Moises Sierra, rf
Luis Jimenez, 1b
Mauro Gomez, dh
Josh Thole, c
Andy LaRoche, 3b
Jim Negych, 2b
Eugenio Velez, lf
Claudio Vargas, p

Ortiz starts Game 2 for Bisons

By Rodney McKissic

Ramon Ortiz, the 39-year-old veteran pitcher, starts the second game of Thursday's doubleheader against Pawtucket.

Here is the lineup for this afternoon's game:

Mike McCoy, ss
Anthony Gose, cf
Moises Sierra, rf
Luis Jimenez, 1b
Mauro Gomez, dh
Josh Thole, c
Jim Negrych, 2b
Eugenio Velez, lf
Lance Zawadzki, 3b
Ramon Ortiz, p

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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 | mharrington@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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