A trio of Cleveland Indians will be with the Buffalo Bisons this weekend for their four-game series against the Rochester Red Wings at Frontier Field.
Pitcher Chad Ogea is today's scheduled starter, infielder Jeff Branson made his Buffalo debut as the third baseman in Friday's series opener, and reliever Ron Villone is back to get some work in the bullpen.
Ogea will join the Bisons today for the first start of his third rehab assignment of the season. He has been on the disabled list this time with tendonitis of the middle finger on his right (pitching) hand after battling knee and stomach muscle trouble.
After Ogea throws today (a stint likely to last three or four innings and 50 pitches), he will be relieved by Buffalo lefty Mike Matthews (9-4).
Ogea is 4-2 with a 5.59 ERA in 12 games with Cleveland, and 2-0, 3.15 in his six Buffalo outings. Branson (strained hamstring) hit .213 with one homer and seven RBIs for Cleveland. Villone (strained oblique) had no record with a 5.91 ERA in 21 games for the Indians, and 2-1 with seven saves for the Herd. All three are expected to be with the Bisons at least until Sept. 1, when the Indians can expand their roster to 40 players.
Thursday night's rainout at Ottawa, Buffalo's first of the year on the road, will be made up as part of a doubleheader Tuesday at North AmeriCare Park beginning at 6. The Bisons will be the home team in both games; the contest could not be made up in Ottawa because the Herd does not return to JetForm Park this season.
That means the Bisons will play two doubleheaders in three days. They meet Syracuse for a twinbill Thursday at 6 in the NAP to make up a May 10 rainout.
Barring any more rainouts, the Bisons will play only five doubleheaders this season. That would be the fewest since playing only four in 1994. The Bisons played 14 last season, winning five, losing one and splitting eight. They are 1-1-1 in twinbills this year.
The series continues tonight at 7:15 (Radio 1520). Ogea's mound opponent will be Rochester right-hander Chris Fussell (2-1, 5.05).
Tickets ($9, $7.50 and $5) are available for all three remaining games in the series: tonight, Sunday at 2:15 and Monday at 7:15. Sunday is Earl Weaver Replica Jersey Day, with the first 4,000 fans receiving a 1966 Red Wings jersey, like the one worn by Weaver when he managed in Rochester.
Weaver, the longtime former Baltimore Orioles manager, is expected to make an appearance at Sunday's game even though he recently suffered a heart attack.
Frontier Field is located in downtown Rochester adjacent to the Kodak tower. Take the Thruway to Exit 47 (LeRoy) and follow I-490 East to Exit 12.