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IOWA BLANKS THE BISONS, 7-0, ON BATISTA'S FIVE-HITTER

Chalk one up for Iowa in the battle between the American Association division leaders.

The Cubs used a sparkling pitching performance from Miguel Batista and three home runs to blank the Buffalo Bisons, 7-0, Monday night before 5,949 at Sec Taylor Stadium.

Batista (8-2) went the distance, striking out nine and walking one for the Western Division-leading Cubs.

Terrell Lowery had a three-run homer, Pedro Valdes contributed a solo home run and an RBI single and former Bison Rod McCall also had a solo shot for the Cubs.

Travis Driskill (6-5) was the loser for the Eastern Division-leading Bisons.

Buffalo's three-game series with the Cubs continues tonight (8:15, Radio 550). Roland DeLaMaza 7-0, 2.28) is the scheduled starter for Buffalo.

Bison third baseman Jeff Manto was named American Association batter of the week for the third straight week and fourth time in six weeks since joining the club. Manto hit .391 with four home runs for the period ending Saturday -- including a three home run-game July 14 against Iowa in North AmeriCare Park.

Manto's three-run homer in the first inning Sunday in Omaha gave him 11 home runs in July, breaking the franchise record of 10 in a month set last June by Ryan Thompson.

In other Association news, league president Branch Rickey III suspended Iowa pitcher Amaury Telemaco five games and Iowa pitching coach Marty DeMerritt two games for their roles in a bench-clearing incident with the Bisons in the July 14 contest. The incident began after Telemaco hit Buffalo's Randy Curtis in the head with a pitch in the fifth inning.

DeMerritt earned his ban for charging from the Iowa dugout at Bisons manager Brian Graham. Telemaco's suspension will begin if he returns to the American Association this season. He was called up to the Chicago Cubs on Friday. DeMerritt and Telemaco also received undisclosed fines.

Twenty-three Bisons and 21 Cubs were fined $150 for the incident, the standard figure assessed minor-league players who leave the dugouts or their positions on the field. Two unnamed Iowa players who stayed in their positions were not fined.

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