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Six home runs one day, just two base hits the next

And so it went for the Buffalo Bisons, who have split their first two games with the Indianapolis Indians, top affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, this weekend at Coca Cola Field.

On Saturday it was all Bisons, hitting six home runs in what turned out to be an 11-6 thrashing of the Indians. Vinny Rottino, who just one night earlier had his consecutive game hitting streak stopped at 20, belted three of the home runs, becoming only the 4th Bisons hitter in the ballpark’s history to perform such a feat. Rottino is rumored to be the next call up to the New York Mets, who are in need of catching help and another bench player.

And speaking of call ups, all of a sudden the Bisons pitching depth has gotten awfully thin. On Sunday afternoon, Manager Wally Backman had to go to his bullpen to patch together a pitching rotation for the game, all because scheduled starter Jeremy Hefner got the sudden call up to New York and joined the Mets up in Toronto on Saturday.

The final… 4-1 Indianapolis. “We’re just glad we got through the game,” said Backman. “I have to give every credit to their pitching today.” Yes, the Bisons got just two base hits, a season low.

Fans attending Sunday’s game got to see two exciting moments… the first was center fielder Corey Wimberly stealing home plate to get the Bisons only run, that coming in the first inning. Later in the game, Backman was ejected for arguing a caught stealing call at second base on his team. Buffalo fans who have been waiting for one of Backman’s colorful and melodramatic diatribes got their moneys’ worth, as the Manager went toe to toe and shout to shout with the infield umpire, finally whipping his helmet to the grass before storming off the field, much to the applause of the fans in the stands.

“I didn’t get to see the whole game, I watched some of it on TV,” quipped Backman to the media down in the clubhouse. The argument on the field was sort of a delayed call. “We were basically sort of disgusted. He (the umpire) said something to me and I said something to him. We kind of went at it a little bit.” Was Backman right? “No question I saw the replay he was safe.”

Backman will surely be spending his Sunday night on the phone with his bosses, as the Bisons are down to three starting pitchers. Expect to see some new names in the lineup as the home stand continues Monday night and Tuesday afternoon against these same Indians at Coca Cola Field.