Three starts, three wins for Fernando Nieve. In a season in which wins have been tough to come by, Nieve scattered six hits and fanned a season-high seven as the Buffalo Bisons beat the Durham Bulls, 9-3, before 8,304 at Durham Athletic Park. Nieve is 3-0 since being called up from Binghamton (AA) on May 18. In his previous two starts, he allowed just two runs in six innings on May 18 against Pawtucket and two runs in six innings on May 24 to Columbus. “I think I’m starting to be more consistent every time I pitch,” said Nieve. “I’m just trying to get ahead of the hitters. I thought the [home run] pitch to Joyce [on the first pitch of the at-bat] was a good pitch. It was a changeup. But it was too far over the middle.” Alex Cora started at shortstop for the Herd after announcing on Friday he’d be joining the team from the Mets on a major league rehab assignment. The Mets placed Cora on the disabled list on May 18 with a torn ligament in his right thumb. He was flawless in the field and was 1 of 5at the plate with a double. “I felt real good. My timing was just off a little bit,” said Cora. “Defensively I was throwing the ball well, and that was the biggest thing to be concerned about.” The Bisons pounded out 13 hits against four Durham pitches. Jonathan Malo had three hits while Mike Lamb and Rene Rivera each homered. “I’ve been hitting the ball well but haven’t had anything to show for it,” said Lamb. “It felt good to have a game like tonight and get rewarded for it.” It was the first of a four-game series and the beginning of the Herd’s longest road trip of the season. The series concludes with four games in Norfolk.
Ryan Coultas fired a career-high eight scoreless innings Friday night, leading the Binghamton Mets to a 6-0 Eastern League victory over the New Britain Rock Cats. Coultas allowed just two hits, striking out four and walking two, as he improved to 4-2 this season while lowering his ERA to 2.55. He retired 12 straight batters from the third inning into the seventh. The B-Mets' offense backed up Coultas with 12 hits, striking for three runs in the top of the second and three more in the eighth. Designated hitter D.J. Wabick helped lead the way with key doubles in both the second and eighth innings, and leadoff hitter Emmanuel Garcia finished with three RBIs. Wabick also scored twice, as did third baseman Shawn Bowman and right fielder Carl Loadenthal, as Binghamton's 5 through 7 hitters combined for six runs. In the second inning, Bowman led off with a triple to center before scoring on Wabick's first double, a drive to right. Wabick took third on Loadenthal's single, then scored on an RBI groundout by Ruben Tejada. One batter later, Garcia singled home Loadenthal. Bowman again kick-started Binghamton's three-run inning in the eighth, singling to center before taking third on Wabick's second double. Loadenthal's walk loaded the bases before Tejada and Garcia came through with back-to-back singles to double the Binghamton lead from 3-0 to 6-0. Edgar Alfonzo closed out the shutout, striking out one and allowing one hit in the ninth.
Saturday, May 30 at New Britain 6:35 pm RHP Dylan Owen (0-4, 6.55) vs. RHP Jay Rainville (4-3, 5.55)
Sunday, May 31 at New Britain 1:35 pm RHP Jose Sanchez (1-5, 5.88) vs. LHP Ryan Mullins (2-6, 4.74)
Monday, June1 at Portland 6:00 pm LHP Mike Antonini (4-1, 5.02) vs. TBA
Tuesday, June2 at Portland 6:00 pm RHP Tobi Stoner (1-1, 2.49) vs. TBA
Of Carl Lodenthal
CURRENT HITTING STREAK: -2 (0-6) VS. LHP: .167 (5-30) POSITIONS: LF (2), CF (3), RF (31), DH (2)
LONGEST HITTING STREAK: 4 (5/19-22) VS. RHP: .265 (27-102) IN THE ORDER: 1(7),2(5),3(1),6(1),7(10),8(8),9(2)
THIS SERIES: LAST SERIES: HOMESTAND: 1-9, 2 BB, SO, SB
PINCH-HITTING: 0-0, BB LAST HR: RESIDES: Southampton, PA
ACQUIRED: Selected by Mets in the AAA phase of the Rule V Draft, December 11, 2008 PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 7th season
∗ 2009 NOTES: Since his three-hit game 5/11, he is hitting .154 (6-39) in the last 12 games...Has recorded four three-hit days this season (4/16, 4/17, 4/26, 5/11)...Tallied back-to-back three hit performances 4/16-17.
∗ CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 2008: Played 26 G with Mississippi (AA) before being called up to Richmond (AAA) for the remainder of the season in the Braves organization...Hit .278 with 19 SB in Richmond...2007: Batted .300 for Mississippi (AA), swiping the second most bases in the Southern League (40)...2006: Led the Carolina League in on base (.425) and average (.323) with Myrtle Beach (High-A)...set career highs with 7 HR and 48 RBI...2005: Split season between Rome (Low-A) and Myrtle Beach (High-A).
∗ PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: Signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Braves, June 7, 2003...attended Rider in New Jersey
FRIDAY'S SCORE: Asheville Tourists 3, Savannah Sand Gnats 2
ON THE RECORD: Tourists 18-29, Sand Gnats 24-23
SEEING STARS: The No. 9 hitter for the Sand Gnats, 17-year-old third baseman Jefry Marte, did all of the damage with two solo home runs - his second and third of the season. He also added a single to raise his batting average to .203. Yet it wasn't enough as Savannah lost its sixth game in seven outings. The leadoff batter, second baseman Jordany Valdespin, was 3-for-5 with a double as Marte and Valdespin became a 1-2 punch. The Tourists, who were shut out 6-0 by the Gnats on Thursday, scored one more run on a Joseph Massey's sacrifice fly in the fourth.
DECISION MAKING: Reliever Stephen Dodson (1-0) earned the win despite yielding a run on the first batter he faced, Marte. Adam Jorgenson picked up his sixth save by striking out the side in the ninth. Savannah starter Kyle Allen (3-2) allowed seven hits, three runs (two earned) and two walks with two wild pitches and a throwing error in four innings. Relievers Manny Olivares and Rhiner Cruz held the Tourists scoreless.
GNATS GNOTES: Savannah was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, to 3-of-10 for the home team. The Sand Gnats also had a 3-0 ratio in errors.