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Bisons drop fourth straight

The Buffalo Bisons will count on left-hander Aaron Laffey (7-3, 3.23 ERA) to check their recent spiral when the Herd faces the Charlotte Knights tonight (7:15 p.m., Radio 1230 and 1330 AM) at Knights Stadium.

The Knights handed Buffalo (51-42) its fourth straight loss, 7-4, Tuesday afternoon. The Herd was limited to five hits by four Charlotte pitchers as reliever Eduardo Sierra made a spot start.

Jason Cooper accounted for three of the four Buffalo runs with a pair of home runs. Cooper hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 3-all in the fourth inning and added a solo shot in the sixth. By then, though, the Knights had built a 7-3 lead with the help of home runs by Ryan Sweeney and Danny Richar.

"It was a frustrating game," Bisons manager Torey Lovullo said. "The guys spent a lot of energy to tie the game, but give [the Knights] credit. They came back.

"We're a solid offensive team that's been stymied the last couple of weeks."

Cooper, who was batting .150 in July coming into this series, also had a pinch-hit two-run triple in Monday night's 11-4 loss to the Knights.

"The ball travels well here. You don't feel like you have to swing as hard here to get good results," Cooper said. "That's what I've been trying to do in the last few games, just go with it and let the ball travel instead of trying to hit it so hard. The results speak for themselves."

Sean Smith (8-6) took the loss Tuesday, allowing all seven Charlotte runs in the six innings he pitched.

Smith had won three of his last four starts, going 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA since June 23.

Laffey began the season with Double-A Akron but has become Buffalo's stopper. He has pitched in seven consecutive wins over eight games for the Bisons, allowing nine earned runs in 53 innings with just nine walks and 47 strikeouts. The Maryland native's earned run average for that stretch is 1.16.

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