Luis Santos has worked his way into the Buffalo Bisons’ starting rotation and pitched his best game of the season Wednesday.
The 26-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic allowed two hits and no runs in six innings in Buffalo’s 4-1 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens.
Santos, who started the season in Double-A New Hampshire, improved to 2-3 with a 3.44 earned-run average in nine games for Buffalo. He was a spot starter his first three weeks with the Herd but has earned a position in the starting rotation.
“He’s been one of our best starters,” said Bisons pitching coach Bob Stanley. “He was only going to be up here for a couple spot starts but he’s pitched so well we need him.”
Santos is a power pitcher, with a fastball clocked at 95 mph. When he’s throwing the fastball for strikes, his 84 mph changeup and his breaking balls become tough to hit.
“We’ve talked a lot about pitching off his fastball,” Stanley said. “He gets breaking-ball happy and falls behind counts. Today he pitched off his fastball. He threw 96 pitches and 60 fastballs. That’s the way he’s got to be successful.”
Matt Dermody pitched two no-hit innings, and Chris Smith pitched the ninth for the Herd.
Records: Buffalo improved to 28-22 and 19-8 at Coca-Cola Field. Toledo lost for the 12th time in the last 14 games and fell to 22-29. Buffalo is third in the International League North, two games behind second-place Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Atop the IL: Lehigh Valley’s loss Monday at Indianapolis was just the third defeat in the past 22 games for the IronPigs. Lehigh Valley is atop the North Division and owns the IL’s best record at 35-16.
IL Hall of Famer: Wednesday’s game was the 5,490th straight for Toledo play-by-play broadcaster Jim Weber, who’s a member of the IL Hall of Fame. Weber, 71, has not missed a broadcast game since his career as Toledo radio man began in 1975.
“Everybody asks when I want to retire,” Weber said. “I say, ‘Retire from what? Watching baseball?'”
Late scare: Buffalo’s Dwight Smith Jr. crashed into the right-field wall trying to make an over-the-head catch in the ninth inning and went down in a heap. He was able to finish the game. Smith hit an RBI-double in the eighth and is batting .315.
Rest day: After playing Tuesday night, the Bisons gave Roemon Fields, Raffy Lopez and Rowdy Tellez the day off. Fields is batting .398 in 25 games. Lopez is hitting .292, and Tellez .225.
In the house: Paid attendance was 5,805.
Up next: The Bisons play another day game Thursday. It’s the annual School Kids Day, a 10:30 a.m. start. Scheduled to pitch Thursday for the Bisons is Brett Oberholtzer (1-2, 2.27) vs. Buck Farmer (1-3, 4.12).