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Bisons ace Stroman gets call from beleaguered Blue Jays

By Mike Harrington

It took an injury in the Toronto starting rotation and another blowup by the Blue Jays' bullpen but Bisons ace Marcus Stroman earned his first big-league callup to the Blue Jays late Saturday night.

Stroman had his contract purchased from Buffalo and will initially join the beleaguered Toronto bullpen after Blue Jays relievers gave up six runs over the seventh and eighth innings of an 8-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in PNC Park. Following Friday's 6-5 loss to the Pirates, Toronto closer Sergio Santos was bounced from that role after giving up two ninth-inning home runs.

Starter Brandon Morrow was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a a torn sheath in his hand Saturday and could miss the rest of the season. That prompted Stroman's recall.

John Lott of the National Post has this recap of Saturday night's game, featuring many interesting quotes from the clubhouse on the bullpen woes. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet offers his views with this column.

Stroman, who turned 23 on Thursday, was Toronto's No. 1 draft pick in 2012. He is 2-2 with a 1.69 ERA in five starts for the Bisons, with 36 strikeouts and seven walks in 26 2/3 innings. He threw six no-hit innings in his last start Tuesday against Louisville but was pulled due to an 80-pitch limit. 

Stroman will intially start in the bullpen, clearly piggy-backing Dustin McGowan's start Sunday in Pittsburgh and J.A. Happ's outing Monday in Philadelphia. Then we'll see if the Blue Jays put him in the rotation next weekend at home against the Los Angeles Angels. That's what I told the Blue Jays they needed to do in my column Thursday.

Stroman was scheduled to be the starter in the Bisons' road trip opener Monday at Gwinnett, so we'll also have to see how the Herd moves forward with its rotation.

An avid social media user, here's what Stroman had to say late Saturday night.

Pillar's triple gives Bisons another walk-off win

by Amy Moritz

It was the second straight walk-off win for the Buffalo Bisons as a triple by Kevin Pillar scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 win over the Charlotte Knights at a wet Coca-Cola Field Saturday afternoon.

It was an inauspicious start for Ricky Romero who gave up three straight hits, including an RBI double. After just one inning, Romero had already thrown 37 pitches, just 17 of them for strikes, and gave up two runs on four this with a pair of walks.

He went four innings, getting tagged for all five Charlotte runs while giving up eight hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

Trailing 3-0 in the second, the Herd got on the board and the offense opened up after a one-out single from Jared Goedert and a throwing error by Charlotte which put runners on first and third. Mike Nickeas had an RBI single and Munenori Kawasaki an RBI double to cut the lead to 3-2.

Two-out hits helped the Knights extend to 5-2 as Tyler Saladino had had an RBI double in the third and Dan Black an RBI single in the fourth.

The Herd rallied with two run sin the seventh. Darin Mastroianni singled and scored on a triple by Ryan Goins. Goins then scored on a two-out single from Dan Johnson.

In the ninth, Mastroianni led off with a single and Goins followed that up with a perfect bunt down the third base line. That set up Pillar who drove the ball to the right field warning track.

Goins hit a walk-off single in the 11th inning Friday night to give the Herd the win.

The series concludes at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.

Pitching staff outstanding for the Bisons

by Amy Moritz

It's been miserable baseball weather and the offense at times has had difficulty cracking the bats. But the Buffalo Bisons have their pitching staff. And that has made all the difference this homestand.

The Herd has won four straight games to sit a 15-10 -- five games over .500 for the first time this season. They sit in first place of the International League North Division, percentage points in front of the Pawtucket Red Sox.

And they have their pitching staff to thank for that.

In the first six games of this homestand, Bisons starters are 4-0 with a 0.76 earned run average. They have collectively struck out 32 and allowed just 19 hits in 33 1/3 innings of work.

Ricky Romero looks to continue that trend this afternoon as the Herd hosts Charlotte at 1:05 p.m. (Radio 1520).

Romero is still looking for his first decision of the season while making his fifth start. He has a 3.60 ERA and has been outstanding at home, giving up just one run on four hits in 11 innings of work in two games at Coca-Cola Field.

Meanwhile Kevin Pillar is on a 14-game hitting streak, the second longest in the IL behind a 15-game streak by Rochester's Chris Parmelee. The streak is the longest for a Bisons player since outfielder Vinny Rottino hit in 20 straight in 2010.

Today's starting lineup for the Herd:

Darin Mastroianni -- CF
Ryan Goins -- SS
Kevin Pillar -- LF
Dan Johnson -- DH
Matt Tuiasosopo -- RF
Jared Goedert -- 1B
Jonathan Diaz -- 2B
Mike Nickeas -- C
Munenori Kawasaki -- 3B


More roster news plus notes and lineups for the Bisons fridaynightbash!

by Amy Moritz

Friday afternoon included more roster moves for the Buffalo Bisons. I know. Set your face stunned. 

The Toronto Blue Jays recalled catcher Erik Kratz, who leaves the Herd on a four-game hitting streak. Catcher Jack Murphy returns to the Herd. He was on the Bisons' Opening Day Roster and made three starts before being transferred to Double-A New Hampshire.

Also back to the Herd is Chad Jenkins who was optioned by the Jays. The right-handed pitcher started the season in Buffalo and was promoted to Toronto on April 25 where had appeared in one game, giving up three runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.

Other notes for tonight's 7:05 fridaynightbash! as the Herd hosts the Charlotte Knights:

  • Sean Nolin starts for Buffalo. He has allowed four hits over his last two starts.
  • Kevin Pillar's 13-game hit streak is tied for the second longest active streak in the International League, trailing a 14-game streak by Rochester's Chris Parmelee.
  • Bobby Korecky is the only pitcher in affiliated baseball that has league qualification who has yet to give up a run in 2014. The reliever has thrown 20 innings of scoreless baseball with 19 strikeouts.
  • Speaking of pitching, the Bisons' staff as a team ERA of 2.97, the best in the league.

Tonight's Bison's lineup:

Darin Mastroianni -- LF
Jared Goedert -- 3B
Kevin Pillar -- CF
Dan Johnson -- 1B
Matt Tuiasosopo -- RF
Ryan Schimpf -- DH
Ryan Goins -- SS
Mike Nickeas -- C
Jonathan Diaz -- 2B

Hendriks has plenty of control

by Amy Moritz

With all the (rightful) talk about Buffalo Bisons starting pitcher Marcus Stroman let's not forget Liam Hendriks.

The righty is 3-0 with a 1.25 earned run average and gets the start for the Herd tonight as they open a four-game series with the Charlotte Knights at Coca-Cola Field (7:05 p.m., Radio 1520).

No pitcher in affiliated baseball has thrown more innings in 2014 without a walk then Hendriks. In 21 2/3 innings pitched he has yet to issue a free pass. He has 21 strikeouts and had given up four runs (three earned) on 14 hits over that span.

Kevin Pillar is still working his hitting streak which has stretched to 12 games -- tied for the second longest in the International League. Since April 17 he has averaged .391 with six doubles, seven runs batted in and nine runs scored.

Pillar is batting third tonight. The complete Bisons' lineup:

Darin Mastroianni -- CF
Jared Goedert -- DH
Kevin Pillar -- LF
Dan Johnson -- 1B
Matt Tuiasosopo -- RF
Ryan Schimpf -- 3B
Ryan Goins -- 2B
Erik Kratz -- C
Munenori Kawasaki -- SS

A look back at a good April for Bisons as May opens with (naturally) roster moves

By Mike Harrington

After Wednesday's International League off day, the Bisons started May with some player moves today as the Toronto Blue Jays called up outfielder Anthony Gose and infielder Steve Tolleson from the Herd. The Jays then returned infielder Jonathan Diaz to Buffalo and designated Moises Sierra for assignment, with hopes the outfielder could clear waivers and return to the Herd.

The Blue Jays appear to have given up on Sierra for now after he batted just .059 in limited duty. Tolleson, batting .236 for the Bisons,  provides added depth for interleague play coming up in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. 

The Bisons open a four-game series against Charlotte  tonight at 7 in Coca-Cola Field. They are 13-10 and one game out of first place in the International League North. 

Here's where the Bisons stand out of the 14 IL teams through the first month:

Average: .246 (8th)
Runs:  108 (6th)
Runs/game: 4.7 (5th)
Home runs: 11 (12th)
Steals: 24 (3rd)
Steal percentage: .774 (24-31-4th)
OBP: .337 (6th)
Slugging: .354 (9th)
Strikeouts: 164 (12th)
Walks: 103 (3rd)
OPS: .691 (8th)

ERA: 3.06 (1st)
Strikeouts: 190 (10th)
Walks: 91 (8th)
Hits: 187 (12th)
Home Runs: 14 (9th)
Saves: 8 (3rd)

Herd wraps up four-game set with Bats

By Rodney McKissic

Rain threatened to put a damper on tonight's Bisons-Louisville game but it looks like the contest will be played as scheduled. It was pivitol to play the game - the finale of a four-game set - because this is the last time the Bats will be at Coca-Cola Field this season.

Here is the Bisons lineup for tonight's game:

Anthony Gose, CF
Darin Mastroianni, RF
Kevin Pillar, LF
Dan Johnson, DH
Matt Tuiasosopo, 1B
Ryan Goins, 2B
Jared Goedert, 3B
Steve Tolleson, SS
Erik Kratz, C


Drabek takes the mound for the Bisons

by Amy Moritz

The Bisons will look to get back on track tonight after a 2-1 loss to the Louisville Bats on Sunday.

The loss was an odd game for Buffalo pitchers as they combined for 12 walks, including a bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning which tied the game.

Kyle Drabek gets the start for the Herd's 6:05 game against the Bats at Coca-Cola Field. Drabek is making his fifth start of the season. He is 1-2 and coming off a loss where he allowed two unearned runs in five innings at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday.

Anthony Gose is back in the lineup today, batting first and playing right field. He had Sunday off, aside from entering the game as a pinch runner in the ninth, after jamming his thumb on Saturday.

Kevin Pillar will bat third and play left field. He has a 10-game hit streak -- the third longest active streak in the International League.

Tonight's starting lineup for the Bisons:

Anthony Gose -- RF
Darin Mastroianni -- CF
Kevin Pillar -- LF
Dan Johnson -- 1B
Jared Goedert -- 3B
Matt Tuiasosopo -- DH
Steve Tolleson -- SS
Ryan Schimpf -- 2B
Erik Kratz -- C


Walks costly as Bisons drop, 2-1, decision to Louisville

by Amy Moritz

Walks came back to haunt the Buffalo Bisons pitching staff as the Herd dropped a 2-1 decision to the Louisville Bats at Coca-Cola Field Sunday afternoon.

The Bisons issued a total of 12 walks, six with two outs, including walking in the game-tying run in the ninth inning.

Buffalo had taken a 1-0 lead in the eighth.

Ricardo Nanita had a one-out double then Chris Getz, pinch-hitting for Mike Nickeas, doubled down the left field line to score Nanita and give the Herd the 1-0 lead.

The Bats put runners on base in the ninth with a one-out hit and a walk off reliever Gregory Infante. The runners moved up to second and third on a ground out and Infante issued another walk to load the bases with two outs.

John Stilson entered the game and walked Thomas Neal allowing the tying run to cross the plate. A single by Max Ramirez scored another and the Bats took a 2-1 lead.

The Bisons threatened in the bottom of the ninth when with one out Kevin Pillar singled and advanced to third on a single from Dan Johnson but Ryan Schimpf grounded into a double play to end the game.

Starter Ricky Romero issued six walks -- three to load the bases in both the first and second innings -- but surrendered no runs in his five innings of work. Romero finished with four strikeouts while giving up two hits.

The series continues at 6:05 Monday when the Bisons host Louisville.

Romero looking for first win while Bisons looking to start a streak

by Amy Moritz

Ricky Romero is making is fourth start of the season for the Buffalo Bisons but is looking for his first decision of 2014.

Romero is 0-0 with a 4.80 earned run average and takes the mound for the Herd this afternoon in a 1:05 game against the Louisville Bats at Coca-Cola Field.

In his last outing, a no-decision at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Romero allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings. He struck out four and gave up nine hits with no walks.

His only other start at home was his only quality start of the season where he gave up one run on two hits in six innings.

Other notes:

  • Chien-Ming Wang gets the start for Louisville. He spent parts of last season in Buffalo, going 4-3 in nine appearances (eight starts) for the Herd with a 3.48 ERA. Signed to a minor league contract by the Cincinnati Reds in December, he is 1-3 in four starts with the Bats this season.
  • The Bisons have won their last two and are looking to put together their first winning streak since they opened the season 4-0.
  • Kevin Pillar is on a streak of his own -- a nine-game hitting streak. Since April 17 Pillar has averaged .353 with five doubles, three runs batted in and five runs scored.
  • Anthony Gose is not in the lineup today after he jammed his thumb while attempting to make a diving catch in centerfield in the eighth inning yesterday.

Today's starting lineup for the Herd:

Darin Mastroianni -- CF
Steve Tolleson -- 2B
Kevin Pillar -- LF
Dan Johnson -- DH
Ryan Schimpf -- 3B
Matt Tuiasosopo -- 1B
Ricardo Nanita -- RF
Mike Nickeas -- C
Munenori Kawasaki -- SS



Nolin back on the mound after his best outing of the season

by Amy Moritz

The sun is working really hard to come out in downtown Buffalo as the Bisons prepare to kick off an eight-game homestand with a 4:05 first pitch against the Louisville Bats at Coca-Cola Field.

Lefty Sean Nolin is coming off his best start of the season after throwing six shutout innings in a no-decision at Pawtucket last Saturday. He gave up three hits and struck out seven.

Outfielder Darin Mastroianni makes his Coca-Cola Field debut as a member of the Bisons. He was claimed off waivers by Toronto after spending the last two years in the Minnesota organization doing the shuffle between the Twins and Triple-A Rochester.

The Bisons announced other transaction news:

Right-handed pitcher Gregory Infante and infielder Ryan Schimpf were promoted to the Bisons from Double-A New Hampshire.

Infielder Kevin Nolan was transferred to New Hampshire.

On Friday night, the Blue Jays made bullpen moves, optioning Neil Wagner to the Bisons and recalling Chad Jenkins.

Infante has five saves with a 3.38 earned run average in eight relief outings for New Hampshire. He has allowed just one hit in his last five appearances. Last season he split time between Triple-A Albuquerque and Double-A Chattanooga in the Dodgers organization.

Schimpf hit .322 with eight doubles and four home runs, driving in 10 runs over17 games for the Fisher Cats. He ranks second in the Eastern League with 12 extra-base hits. He was a fifth-round draft pick of the Blue Jays in 2009.

Wagner started the season with the Herd, picking up two saves in two scoreless appearances. He was recalled to Toronto on April 9 and posted a 3.12 ERA in nine outings. 

This afternoon's Bisons' lineup:

Anthony Gose -- CF
Darin Mastroianni -- RF
Chris Getz -- 2B
Dan Johnson -- 1B
Kevin Pillar -- LF
Steve Tolleson -- SS
Matt Tuiasosopo -- DH
Jared Goedert -- 3B
Erik Kratz -- C

Bisons drop doubleheader

By Amy Moritz

The game was only scheduled for seven innings as the first half of a doubleheader at Coca-Cola Field Thursday afternoon.

Still it took nine innings to decide the game as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders took a 2-1 decision over the Buffalo Bisons.

In Game 2 of the doubleheader, Scranton jumped all over strater Kyle Drabek and went on for a 7-2 win to sweep the twinbill.

In the first game the Bisons tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Kevin Nolan legged out a doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Chris Getz.

Getz stole second with two outs but an iffy third-strike appeal on Steve Tolleson ended the inning and sent the scheduled seven-inning game into extra frames.

 The Bisons threatened in the bottom of the eighth with two walks and no outs, but shallow fly balls to the outfield and a strikeout by Ricardo Nanita left the runners stranded. 

Austin Bibens-Dirkx, freshly promoted from Double-A New Hampshire, gave up a leadoff walk in the ninth to Ronnier Mustelier. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a two-out single to center by Carmen Angelini.

The Bisons had a runner in scoring position when Getz drew a two-out walk and stole second. Tolleson drew a walk bringing Brett Caroll to the plate, who entered the game as a pinch runner in the eighth. Carroll struck out  to end the game.

Ricky Romero pitched a solid outing getting his second start of the season. He gave up one run on two hits through six innigns of work. He had just two strikeouts and it was the four walks which hurt the lefty.

In the third, Romero gave up two walks, including to the leadoff batter Antoan Richardson. Richardson moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and stole third. A walk to Ramond Flores put runners on the corners with out out. With the infield playing shallow, Jose Pirela’s ground ball found space to score the game’s first run.

The Bisons didn’t get their first hit of the game until the fifth inning when Kevin Nolan led off with his first Triple-A single. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mike Nickeas but good defensive plays by Scranton in the field kept the Herd off the board.

Gose recalled by the Blue Jays while Bisons gain a pitcher

by Amy Moritz

A few pre-game roster moves announced before the Buffalo Bisons begin their noon doubleheader with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

As expected, Anthony Gose was recalled by the Blue Jays as their 26th man for the doubleheader against the Twins in Minnesota. Gose will likely play center field in the second game.

The Bisons also added a pitcher as righty Austin Bibens-Dirkx was promoted from Double-A New Hampshire. Bibens-Dirks, 28, has a 4.15 earned run average in two starts for the Fisher Cats. He split last season between Single-A Dunedin and New Hampshire. In 29 games he was 12-9 with a 2.48 ERA.

Bisons doubleheader starts at noon

by Amy Moritz

It's a beautiful day for a doubleheader. At least when it warms up a bit this afternoon.

The Buffalo Bisons and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders will play two seven-inning games start at noon at Coca-Cola Field. The twinbill makes up one of the games from earlier in the homestand when wet grounds and snow forced postponements.

Ricky Romero gets the start in the first game making his second start of the season. Romero allowed three runs in four innings of a no-decision last week in Lehigh Valley. Last year the lefty won five games for the Herd, striking out 81 batters in 22 starts.

Kyle Drabek will start the second game. He is 1-0 in two starts, picking up his first win April 11 against Pawtucket where he gave up three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts in five innings of work.

Anthoy Gose is expected to be promoted by the Toronto Blue Jays today for their doubleheader in Minnesota. The expectation is that he will play the second game and be returned to the Bisons.

The starting lineup for the Bisons in Game 1:

Chris Getz -- 2B
Steve Tolleson -- 3B
Juan Francisco -- DH
Dan Johnson -- 1B
Matt Tuiasosopo -- LF
Kevin Pillar -- CF
Ricardo Nanita -- RF
Kevin Nolan -- SS
Mike Nickeas -- C

Finally time to play ball as Stroman gets start for the Herd

by Amy Moritz

After two days of bad weather, the Buffalo Bisons will finally get the chance to host the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders. And finally Marcus Stroman gets to take the mound.

Stroman was the Opening Day starter for the Herd, giving up two runs on four hits in a no-decision. He was a hard-luck loser on April 9 in Lehigh Valley.

That start was the second game of a doubleheader. The first game went to extra innings and Stroman didn't get to the mound until 10 p.m. He pitched a complete seven-inning game but took the 1-0 loss when the winning run scored on a passed ball. He struck out eight, walked five and gave up three hits in that outing.

Getting his first start with the Herd tonight is catcher Erik Kratz. The three-time International League ALl-Star was optioned by Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

Tonight's Bisons' lineup:

Chris Getz -- 2B
Steve Tolleson -- SS
Juan Francisco -- 3B
Dan Johnson -- DH
Matt Tuiasosopo -- LF
Kevin Pillar -- CF
Jared Goedert -- 1B
Erik Kratz -- C
Brett Carroll -- RF

Kawasaki, Happ return to the Blue Jays

by Amy Moritz

While the weather has wrecked havoc with the Buffalo Bisons schedule, the roster moves continued on Tuesday afternoon.

The Toronto Blue Jays purchased the contract of shortstop Munenori Kawasaki and activated pitcher J.A. Happ from his Major League Rehabilitation Assignment.

To make room on their roster, the Blue Jays optioned catcher Erik Kratz to the Bisons. Toronto also announced today that Jeremy Jeffress cleared waivers and has been outrighted to the Bisons. Also announced was that Buffalo pitcher Marcus Walden has been designated for assignment.

The promotion for Kawasaki comes after Toronto's Maicer Izturis suffered a complete tear of his lateral collateral ligament. Typical recover time for the tear is four to six months although the 33-year old is reportedly seeking a second opinion before scheduling the surgery.

In eight games with the Bisons, Kawasaki hit .240 with a doubel and an RBI.

Happ returns to the Blue Jays after making one start for the Herd on Thursday. He struck out six, gave up one run on five hits in a no-decision to Pawtucket.

Kratz played six games with the Blue Jays, batting .200 with a home run and four runs batted in. He is a three-time International League All-Star, winning the honor with Indianapolis (2009) and Lehigh Valley (2010, 2011).

Jeffress pitched in 25 games for Buffalo last season gong 1-0 with a 1.65 earned run average and seven saves. He threw in three games for the Blue Jays this year giving up four runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Walden is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in three games with the Bisons this year.


Bisons once again postponed

by Amy Moritz

Winter weather has postponed Tuesday's scheduled doubleheader between the Buffalo Bisons and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. It's the second straight day the Herd's games at Coca-Cola Field have been scrapped with bad weather conditions.

The teams will play a single game on Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. with a single-admission doubleheader starting at 12:05 p.m. Thursday at Coca-Cola Field. Gates will open at 11:30 a.m. Fans already holding tickets to Thursday's game can use them for admission to both.

The second game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday, July 2. That doubleheader will begin at 5:35 p.m.

Fans holding tickets for tonight's game can exchange them for a comparable ticket to any future Bisons game with the exception of special events. All ticket exchanges must be made at the Coca-Cola Field box office and can be done anytime during the 2014 season.


Bisons-Scranton postponed, will play two on Tuesday

By Rodney McKissic

Rain and cold temperatures have forced the Herd to postpone their game tonight against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The game will be part of a single-admission doubleheader beginning at 5:05 p.m. Tuesday at Coca-Cola Field. Fans already holding tickets to the game on Tuesday can use their ticket for admission to both games.

Fans holding tickets to tonight’s game can exchange them for a comparable ticket to any future Bisons game this season excluding special events. All ticket exchanges must be made at the Coca-Cola Field Box Office. These exchanges do not have to be made today.

Fans with tickets can exchange them throughout the remainder of the 2014 season.

The Herd’s Marcus Stroman (0-1) was scheduled tonight against Scranton’s Chase Whitley (0-1) but it hasn’t been determined if Stroman’s start will be pushed back until Tuesday. Stroman is coming off the first complete game of his pro career but was the loser in a 1-0 defeat to Lehigh Valley in the second game of a doubleheader last Wednesday. Stroman fanned eight in the loss and allowed just one unearned run on three hits. He has posted a 1.80 ERA in his first two Triple-A starts.

Ricky Romero (0-0) is slated to pitch Tuesday against Graham Stoneburner (0-0).

Bisons conclude four-game set with PawSox

By Rodney McKissic

The Bisons, tied with Rochester atop the IL North Division, will close out a four-game series with visiting Pawtucket today at 1:05 p.m. Sean Nolin (1-0) takes the hill for the Herd against the PawSox's Allen Webster (1-1). Here is the starting lineup for today's game:

Anthony Gose, CF
Steve Tolleson, 2B
Juan Francisco, 3B
Dan Johnson, 1B
Kevin Pillar, RF
Chris Getz, DH
Brett Carroll, LF
Jack Murphy, C
Munenori Kawasaki, SS
Sean Nolin, P


Hendriks leads Bisons to a 3-2 win

by Amy Moritz





A solid outing from Liam Hendriks gave the Buffalo Bisons a 3-2 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox in front of 5,692 at Coca-Cola Field Saturday afternoon.

Hendriks threw 5 2/3 shutout innings giving up just one hit with four strikeouts. Though he issued no walks, it took the lefty some time to warm into the game. He had a 23-pitch first inning. But things got progressively better. He threw 18 in the second then needed just seven pitches in the third and fourth innings to retire the side.

The offensive support for Hendriks started in the third.  Mike Nickeas led off with a single and moved to second a sacrifice bunt from Munenori Kawaski. With two outs Nickeas scored on a single to left by Steve Tolleson.

The led extended to 2-0 in the fourth when Matt Tuiasosopo drew a one-out walk and scored when Kevin Pillar split the gap in right field with a screaming line drive good for a triple. Pillar scored on a single from Jared Goedert to make it 3-0.

The PawSox got back in the game in the eighth when Dan Butler drove a fullcount pitch off the left field foul pole for a two-out two-run home run. That cut the Herd’s lead to 3-2.

The teams meet again at 1 p.m. Sunday with lefty Sean Nolin (1-0, 1.59 ERA) scheduled to start for the herd against righty Allen Webster (1-1, 2.79).

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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 |