Pitchers Sean Smith and Eric DuBose turned in solid performances for the Buffalo Bisons Monday night. That's fortunate since the Herd's hurlers seem to be in state of flux.
While 8,184 fans at Dunn Tire Park watched Smith earn his ninth win of the season in a 3-1 decision over Syracuse and DuBose give up one run in a 7-1 win, the rest of the Bisons' starting pitching rotation seems to be in some chaos.
Right-hander Adam Miller, who was scheduled to start today's game, was in Cleveland Monday night. Indians officials announced that he was with the parent club to have his right elbow examined.
The physical ailment seems to not be related to the bruised tendon he suffered in his right hand in May. Miller spent nearly a month on the disabled list with the unusual injury.
"[Miller] had just been experiencing some elbow tenderness," Herd manager Torey Lovullo said. "He pitched four innings in Charlotte [July 19] and came up after and said it was bothering him."
In July, Miller is just 0-2 in four starts with a 17.18 ERA. He gave up 26 hits and 21 runs in 11 innings pitched -- uninspired numbers for the organization's top pitching prospect.
Jeff Harris (5-5, 4.82 ERA) will take his start tonight against Charlotte.
As the Miller health saga plays out, the Aaron Laffey story line continues with elements of daytime drama. Laffey, one of the hottest pitchers in the Herd's rotation with seven straight wins, may be leaving for Cleveland. But the Indians are denying the move.
Laffey was pulled in the third inning of Sunday's opener and got high-fives from his teammates as he returned to the dugout, clearly a sign they were congratulating him on getting the call.
"I don't know where that's coming from . . . but there's nothing going on," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge told reporters in Jacobs Field before Monday's game against Boston.
Wedge said one reason Laffey was pulled was because he warmed up prior to Saturday's postponed game. But that was not the case as no one ever took the field before the twinbill was wiped out because the infield was inadvertently flooded overnight.
The Indians later admitted they had received misinformation and said Laffey was pulled because he needs to re-assume his place in the rotation after Saturday's postponed game and pitch on three days rest on Thursday.
Lovullo also said there was no update and that Laffey was still to make his next scheduled start for the Herd on Thursday.
However, in the Bisons' game notes, the starting pitcher for Thursday's game was listed as to be announced.
In Monday's game, Smith had an impressive outing, giving up just one run on two hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
The Herd took a 2-0 lead when Andy Marte hit a two-run homer in the second. Ryan Mulhern's two-out RBI single in the third made it 3-0.
Syracuse starter Gustavo Chacin, making a rehabilitation start from the Toronto Blue Jays, pitched three innings, giving up three runs on five hits with one strikeout. Chacin, 26, has been on the disabled list since April 28 with shoulder trouble.
In the 7-1 second game, the Herd scored all its runs in the third. The Herd sent 12 batters to the plate. Joe Inglett led off the scoring with a one-out solo home run. He capped the scoring later in the inning with a two-run single. Keith Ginter added a two-run double while Yamid Haad and Jonathan Van Every had RBI singles.
Buffalo continues its homestand with a four-game series with Charlotte, beginning at 7:05 tonight (Radio 1230 & 1330 AM) with Harris scheduled to pitch against Charlotte's Heath Phillips (8-7, 5.14).
The Pitch: Smith wins his ninth game of year. . . . Marte hits a two-run homer in Game One. . . . Inglett has three RBI in Herd seven-run third inning of Game Two.
Fast fact: Marte's home run was his 10th, becoming fourth Bison to reach double digits.
Next game: Tonight, 7:05 p.m. vs. Charlotte (Italian Festival Night) in Dunn Tire Park.