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Morning Pitch: Bisons vs. Gwinnett on Italian Festival Night

Going to the game? Here's what you need to know:

Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) vs. Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta Braves)

Coca-Cola Field

First pitch: 7:05 p.m.

Gates open: 6 p.m.

Weather: What else? Perfect. The forecast calls for 80 degrees and sunny. Weather.com updates for 14203: https://weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/l/14203:4:US

Promotions: It’s Italian Festival Night, with a pre-game party featuring Italian food and music in the centerfield tent. Centerfield gates open at 5 p.m. The Bisons’ Italian man of the year and the Ilio DiPaolo Humanitarian Award both will be presented before the first pitch. There will be fireworks after the game.

Starting pitchers: Scott Diamond (6-9, 3.62) will start for Buffalo against Aaron Blair (3-3, 4.84).

Last game: Quick hits: Norfolk 5, Bisons 4. http://insidepitch.buffalonews.com/2016/07/20/quick-hits-bisons-squander-chances-5-4-loss-norfolk/

Game Story: Bisons not Cardiac Kids. http://insidepitch.buffalonews.com/2016/07/20/quick-hits-bisons-squander-chances-5-4-loss-norfolk/

Bisons Prospects: Outfielder Dalton Pompey is batting .297 and has a future in Toronto, maybe as a starter if he can keep playing well. He’s a speedster. . . . A.J. Jiminez is only 25 and is a good defensive catcher. After several injury plagued seasons he needs to put together a strong Triple-A season to rejuvenate his stock.

Gwinnett Prospects: Pitcher Aaron Blair entered the season as the No. 4-rated Braves prospect. He’s a 6-foot-5 24-year-old who spent most of June in Atlanta. But he went 0-5 and was sent back to Triple-A. Atlanta has a bunch of promising prospects, but most are at the lower levels of the organization. The rebuild of the Braves will take awhile.

Records: Buffalo is 52-46 but stands fourth in the IL North. Gwinnett (42-56) beat Syracuse Wednesday but still is only 3-8 in its last 11.

Ranking: Gwinnett ranks 13th of 14 in the IL in pitching and has given up by far the most walks in the league. The Braves are third in batting average (.258). Buffalo is 10th in batting (.252) and sixth in pitching.

Major connections: The first two hitters in the Gwinnett lineup are MLB veterans. Second baseman Omar Infante has played in 1507 major-league games and was an All-Star in 2010. He won a World Series ring with the Royals last year (although he hardly played). Outfielder Emilio Bonifacio has played 784 MLB games.

Familiar face: Braves catcher George Kottras played for the Herd in 2014.

WCC Race: Wing won for a 12th time this season. Celery was in the lead at the halfway point but decided to play Pokemon-Go on his iPad and was passed by the other mascots. Atomic has 23 wins, Bleu 13 and Celery zero.

The homestand: It runs through Sunday.

Tickets: $10-13, bisons.com, Coca-Cola Field Box Office.

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