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TONIGHT'S HOME GAME WILL BE GRAND OCCASION

The Buffalo Bisons will reach a milestone tonight when they play the 1,000th game in Dunn Tire Park history, a 7:05 contest against the Louisville RiverBats.

The Bisons are 601-398 in the downtown ballpark -- 585-391 in the regular season and 16-7 in the playoffs. The Herd is 26-11 at home this year and its best record for one season was the 51-21 mark it posted in 1997.

The opening game in the park's history was a 1-0 win over the Denver Zephyrs on April 14, 1988. That began the Buffalo's trend of winning each milestone game at the stadium -- Nos. 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 were all victories. Four came against Indianapolis and two against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Louisville was victimized for No. 700, a 10-0 victory on July 1, 1997.

The Bisons enter tonight's game trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season. They are the only team at any level of the minor leagues yet to lose three straight this year.

Buffalo designated hitter Dave Hollins left Sunday's game after two at-bats due to a sprained ankle suffered in his final at-bat Saturday night. Hollins was clearly hindered trying to turn and run out of the batter's box on a fourth-inning grounder Sunday.

Hollins was 0 for 2 after entering the game with a team-high .325 batting average that ranked fourth in the IL.

Greg LaRocca made his first start of the season at shortstop as manager Eric Wedge gave struggling John McDonald a rest for the first time since McDonald returned from the disabled list May 17. McDonald, who has been battling hamstring trouble, committed two errors Saturday night and leads the IL with 15. He made just eight for the Herd last year.

"He's had a little bit of problem on the slow rollers, having trouble getting down on them," Wedge said of McDonald. "He's working on that and trying to keep his legs healthy."

McDonald entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth and was hitless in two at-bats. LaRocca went 3 for 5 and is 7 for 20 since getting promoted from Double-A Akron.

Mike Bacsik (7-2), Buffalo's victory leader, will start for the Herd tonight on three days rest in the series finale. Louisville will go with knuckleballer Jared Fernandez (5-4).

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