Oh those April showers. They not only bring May flowers but plenty of baseball doubleheaders.
Thursday marked the second straight rainout for the Buffalo Bisons as the team postponed its series opener with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders due to rain and wet grounds.
The teams will make up the game as part of a doubleheader today at Coca-Cola Field. The pair of seven-inning games will begin at 5:05 p.m. Gates will open at 4:30 for the first fridaynightbash! of the season.
The games will be half of those played in the series between the Herd and the RailRiders.
The Scranton franchise changed its nickname in the offseason, giving it three in eight years.
The Red Barons switched to the Yankees before the 2007 season when the club changed its affiliation to New York.
Last season, the Herd went 5-11 against Scranton and are on a seven-game losing streak to the club. The last time the Bisons won a series against Scranton was when they went 9-7 in 2005 under the direction of Marty Brown.
Speaking of Brown, the manager on his second stint with Buffalo is just 12 wins from the Bisons’ modern era record. His 241 victories are behind the totals of Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famers Brian Graham (253) and Terry Collins (246).
The Herd has had some impressive offensive performances while going 3-3 to start this season.
Buffalo native Jim Negrych is hitting .667 (8 for 12) with two doubles, a home run and two runs batted in. His on-base percentage is .714.
Outfielder Moises Sierra has a hit in all six games. He is batting .409 (9 for 22) and has three multi-hit performances in his last four games. Eugenio Velez has had at least one hit in all four of his games, posting a .368 (7 for 19) average. And he has stolen two bases, which leads the team.
The Bisons’ rotation is scheduled to remain the same with Ramon Ortiz starting the first game and Claudio Vargas scheduled to start Game Two.
Ortiz (0-0, 3.60) struck out seven batters over five innings in his first start – a no-decision against Rochester last Friday. He allowed two runs on four hits in a game the Herd won, 3-2.
Ortiz, who won a game for the Los Angeles Angels in the 2002 ALCS and the 2002 World Series, pitched for Scranton all of last season. He went 13-6 with a 3.45 earned run average in 27 starts.
Vargas (0-0, 2.25 ERA) did not get a decision at Rochester on Saturday. He pitched only four innings, giving up one run on three hits with four strikeouts and five walks. The Herd won that game, 9-2.
Fans who had tickets for Thursday’s game can exchange them for any 2013 Bisons game, with the exception of special events. All ticket exchanges must be made at the Coca-Cola Field box office.