The Buffalo Bisons and Toledo Mud Hens are going to get quite chummy.
The International League teams will meet tonight at Coca-Cola Field (7:05 p.m. Radio 1520 AM) in the opener of a four-game series between the teams. The Herd and Mud Hens will play all eight games in their season series in the next 12 days. They will play a four-game set at Fifth Third Field next week.
Going into the post-All-Star Game break portion of the schedule, the Bisons (49-47) are very much alive in the North Division and league wild-card races. After six wins in their last eight games, they trail first-place Pawtucket (53-44) by 3½ games in the division and are 1½ games behind wild-card race leader Norfolk (51-46).
Buffalo and Toledo split their season series, 4-4, in 2012, with each side winning twice at home.
Toledo is 7-7 in July but is last in the West Division. The Mud Hens have one of the International League’s hottest hitters in 29-year-old outfielder Danny Dorn, who was named the leagues’ Batter of the Week after he hit four home runs, drove in nine runs and posted an .840 slugging percentage in the week leading up to the All-Star break. Dorn represented the Mud Hens in Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game in Reno, Nev.
Toledo’s pitching staff includes former Bisons left-hander Pat Misch (3-7, 5.07), who is on the seven-day disabled list. Another former Bison playing for the Mud Hens is third baseman Mike Cervenak.
Tonight will be Italian Night at the ballpark. Restaurateur Henry Gorino and broadcast executive Bob Koshinski will be honored. Gorino will be presented the Ilio DiPaolo Humanitarian Award by Dennis DiPaolo. Koshinski, whose mother’s maiden name is Rizzo, will be honored as the Bisons Italian-American of the Year.
The Bisons will induct former players Dave Roberts and Ernie Young and Buffalo News baseball reporter Mike Harrington into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame prior to Friday night’s (7:05) second game of the series. The teams will meet again Saturday night (7:05) and Sunday afternoon (1:05).