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Knights still have Bisons' number Charlotte goes to 6-0, nears season sweep

There's just something about the Charlotte Knights.

Something that the Buffalo Bisons can't figure out.

The Herd fell to 0-6 against the Knights this season after dropping a 5-3 decision in Dunn Tire Park Wednesday.

It's now been two seasons that Charlotte has dominated the Herd. In 2006, the Bisons were just 1-7 against the Knights, including going 0-4 at home, and were outscored, 63-42.

The trend has continued this year as the Knights hold a 43-19 advantage in runs and are two wins away from sweeping the season series.

"I remember last year when they came here; we probably played the four worst games we could have played the entire season," Bisons starting pitcher Jeremy Sowers said. "Once again, that's baseball. I know you guys probably hear that a lot but it truly is. You just have good days and you have bad days and there's not really a reason for that one way or another.

"They hit the ball exceptionally well [in Charlotte] and then up here, they're not as potent offensively but they're still tough outs and their pitching obviously the last two games has been very good."

The Knights pitching has kept the Herd offense limping. The Bisons had been held scoreless for 17 innings until an RBI single by Hector Luna in the fifth broke the slump and tied the game, 1-1.

But the Knights punched right back in the sixth, scoring four runs off reliever Bubbie Buzachero, including three on a bases-clearing triple by Jason Bourgeois. Tomas Perez grounded out to first to score Bourgeois for the 5-1 advantage.

Jonathan Van Every drove a two-run homer to right center with two outs in the seventh to cut the lead to 5-3 but the Herd went down in order in the eighth and ninth.

The Herd went down quickly at the start of the game, too, sending just 10 batters to the plate in the first three innings.

That certainly didn't help the cause of Sowers, who could barely catch his breath before going back to the mound.

"That's something that's not a good thing -- to work a hard inning, sit down and three batters and 10 pitches later have to be right back out there," Sowers said. "On the flip side, that's what [the opponents] strive for -- they did that a couple times today but that's just part of the game."

Sowers did plenty to keep the Herd close. Though he gave up eight hits, he surrendered only one run, struck out five and pitched himself both into and out of jams.

In his five innings, he gave up hits to the leadoff batter in four of them but Sowers kept the Knights to just 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

"He did everything we wanted him to do," manager Torey Lovullo said. "He wiggled out of some jams in a couple of early innings and was just outstanding all the way around. He had command of his fastball on both sides of the plate. We can't say enough about his progress."

Lance Broadway (6-5) gave up one run on three hits with four walks and seven strikeouts to earn the win for the Knights.

Buzachero (3-4) took the loss, giving up the four runs in the sixth inning. Though only two of them were earned, Buzachero committed the fielding error that loaded the bases, setting up the game-winning triple.

***

Wednesday was Lovullo's 42nd birthday. He also was the legends poster that was distributed to fans at the game. . . . The official attendance was 6,215. . . . The series continues today (1:05 p.m., Radio 1230 & 1330 AM) with Buffalo's Aaron Laffey (7-3, 3.24 ERA) scheduled to start against Andrew Sisco (1-4, 4.95).

e-mail: amoritz@buffnews.com

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