Dave Otto and Bill Brennan combined on a four-hitter as the Iowa Cubs held off the Buffalo Bisons, 4-2, Monday night at Sec Taylor Stadium.
The loss prevented the Bisons from earning their first three-game sweep ever at Sec Taylor. They finished their road trip 4-2. Buffalo returns home for three games against Indianapolis, beginning tonight at 7 at Pilot Field.
The Herd will have a major-league veteran in its bullpen for the series. The Pittsburgh Pirates have sent 34-year-old reliever Alejandro Pena to Buffalo on a rehabilitation assignment.
Pena is most noted for his 11 saves in 15 appearances for the Atlanta Braves during the 1991 stretch drive after an August trade from the New York Mets. He left Atlanta to sign as a free agent with Pittsburgh after the 1992 season but missed all of last year because of elbow surgery.
Pena was sidelined in spring training this year because of ulcer problems, finally pitching one inning last Thursday in an exhibition game between the Pirates and Double A Carolina. He allowed one hit and threw only 11 pitches.
Otto, who pitched for the Pirates last year, was staked to a 3-0 lead as Iowa scored runs in the third, fourth and sixth off Buffalo starter John Hope (1-1).
Otto (2-0) left after retiring the side in the seventh, but not before giving up Mike Simms' two-run home run to left that cut the lead to 3-2. Brennan pitched two hitless innings and earned his fourth save.
"Little guys throw harder than I do," said the 6-foot-7 Otto. "To be effective, I've got to keep the ball down and change speeds. I got one up tonight and you saw what happened (Simms' HR)."
"Dave Otto didn't allow us a whole lot of flexibility," said Buffalo manager Doc Edwards. "And when we did get on base, they made nice defensive plays."
Buffalo right fielder Tim Leiper didn't do that in the seventh, as his error on Kevin Roberson's fly ball allowed Mike Maksudian to score the final run.
Maksudian gave Iowa a 1-0 lead in the third with an RBI single. Craig Worthington lined an RBI single in the fourth and scored in the sixth on Darren Cox's double to left-center.