ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Hoping to have a strong finish to the first half of the season, the Buffalo Bisons are right on pace.
The Herd bring a five-game winning streak into tonight’s (6 p.m., Radio 1520 AM) doubleheader against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Coca-Cola Field. It’s the first of three games before the All-Star break that begins Monday.
Friday’s game between the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and the visiting Bisons was postponed due to rain. Chien-Ming Wang (1-0, 1.29) was scheduled to make his second start. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Aug. 26.
Dave Bush (8-6, 3.99) is the scheduled starter against Chris Bootcheck (8-2, 3.59) in the first game tonight. Claudio Vargas (5-6, 5.51) was supposed to open for the Herd in the nightcap. Scranton had not announced a starter. It was unknown whether the rainout would change tonight’s lineup.
Bisons starters have posted quality starts in seven of the last eight games. Since July 4, they have a combined 3.02 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 53.2 innings.
The Herd’s winning streak has also allowed them to make up 5½ games in the International League’s North Division in less than a week. They have climbed to within a half game of the wild-card lead. Norfolk and Lehigh Valley are tied for the top spot. After trailing Pawtucket by nine games on July 6, the Bisons are now only 3½ games out of first place.
After going 2 for 4 on Thursday, outfielder Kevin Pillar has reached base in each of his first 21 games with the Bisons. Since his promotion on June 21, Pillar is first in the International League in extra-base hits (15) and second in batting average (.373). Anthony Gose has a six-game hit streak.