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MCDONALD AMONG FOUR CALLUPS

The season will continue for four Buffalo Bisons who were called up to the parent Cleveland Indians after Monday's season finale at Dunn Tire Park.

Infielder John McDonald, utility man Jolbert Cabrera and relievers Tom Martin and David Riske are all returning to the Tribe after spending stints in Cleveland earlier this season. Riske was with Buffalo on a rehabilitation assignment.

McDonald clinched a .300 season overall with his 4-for-5 showing Sunday night and was 1 for 3 Monday to finish at .316 with the Bisons. His overall average was .307 (.296 at Double-A Akron and .308 in Cleveland), a big jump from his .230 mark in 1998, spent entirely at Akron.

Notably left out of the callups was third baseman Russell Branyan, who was 0 for 2 with two walks Monday. Branyan finished the season batting just .208 with 30 home runs and a franchise-record 187 strikeouts, 12 shy of the all-time IL mark.

For you stat freaks, Monday's 3-2 loss to Rochester gave the Bisons a final regular-season record of 7,026-6,733 in the 20th century (.511).

The Herd is 1,140-1,009 (.530) in its modern era of Triple-A (since 1985) and finished the '90s with a record of 785-656 (.545), second in Triple-A to Columbus.

The Bisons' season-high crowd of 19,910 that attended Sunday's Fan Appreciation Night outdrew six major league teams that played earlier in the day.

Teams that drew less than Buffalo were Philadelphia (18,839), Pittsburgh (17,901), Tampa Bay (17,480), Florida (15,875), Kansas City (15,315) and Montreal (8,302).

Oakland, in the thick of the American League wild-card race, drew only 519 more fans than the Herd for its game against Detroit.

The Bisons finished the season with a 39-34 road record, but were just 33-39 at home, their first losing mark here since going 32-40 in 1994.

The Red Wings' losses Saturday and Sunday clinched the Thruway Cup championship for Syracuse. The SkyChiefs finished 18-14 in Thruway play, which involved the three New York State Triple-A teams.

Rochester finished 16-16 and the Bisons were 14-18.

Rochester won the Cup last year despite the fact it finished fourth in the IL North and the Bisons and Syracuse were 1-2, respectively.

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