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NASHVILLE CRUSHES STUMBLING BISONS, 10-2 HERD'S PITCHING FOLDS AGAIN AS SOUNDS ROLL TO NINTH STRAIGHT VICTORY

It could have been worse.

That was the small -- and somewhat sad -- consolation the Buffalo Bisons were left with Thursday night after they were bludgeoned again by the Nashville Sounds, 10-2.

The loss was the Bisons' fourth straight and seventh in their last 10 games.

Were it not for an ill-fated "fowl" ball, the score would have been 13-2 Thursday.

Nashville had two men on with two out in the bottom of the fifth when Joe Hall hit a long blast to left field that many observers at Herschel Greer Stadium thought was a sure home run.

But an unidentified flying bird was gliding low over left field at the very moment Hall's shot was heading out. Ball and bird collided. The bird fell to the ground, dead. The ball, incredibly, fell straight down into the glove of Bisons left fielder Ben Shelton.

The bird, as it turned out, was one of the few things Bisons pitchers had going for them Thursday.

The Sounds got two two-run homers from first baseman Drew Denson and a solo shot from Scott Cepicky in winning their ninth straight and 13th in 15 games. Nashville has outscored the Bisons, 43-11, the past three games. The series concludes tonight (8:30, Empire cable, Radio 930). First-place Nashville (21-14) leads last-place Buffalo (15-22) by seven games.

"They're a hot club," said Bisons manager Doc Edwards. "They can't hit like this all year. We had a better hitting club (than Nashville) in '92, then we cooled off. . . . We're fortunate to be as close as we are (at seven games back). Our pitching as a whole has not been giving our hitters a chance."

Denson's first homer made it 2-0 in the first. Nashville got another run in the second, then broke it open with three in the fifth to make it 6-1.

Jim Tracy (0-1), just off the disabled list, took the loss, yielding seven hits and six runs in four innings.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates called up outfielder Glenn Wilson from Buffalo and demoted third baseman John Wehner.

Wilson was hitting .293 with five homers and 17 RBIs for Buffalo. Wehner was 4 for 20 in 19 games with Pittsburgh. He is expected to join the team in a couple of days.

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