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Choo and his hot bat get Tribe call

Shin-Soo Choo has been on such a torrid pace lately that Cleveland may be the outfielder's home for awhile, and the Buffalo Bisons are undoubtedly going to miss his presence.

The Herd lost its hottest bat on Monday when Choo was called up by the parent Indians to take the place of former Bison Andy Marte, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Choo reached base safely in 12 games and during a seven-game stretch from April 11-19 he hit .474.

For the season, Choo hit .294 with two doubles, seven RBIs, three stolen bases and five runs scored. His .444 on-base percentage leads the Herd.

"In a lot of different ways, he helps us win baseball games defensively with his legs and with his bat," Bisons manager Torey Lovullo said after Monday's game against Pawtucket at Dunn Tire Park was suspended because of high winds and unsafe playing conditions. "I'm sorry to see him go, but he's where he belongs. We wish him well and hopefully we'll never see him again."

But the Bisons could see more of Marte if he's sent down on a rehab assignment. Marte has yet to find his groove at the plate this season and was batting just .179 in 13 games when he was injured running out a ground ball in the third inning of the Tribe's 6-4 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday.

"All I know is I took a call that he's officially on the disabled list," Lovullo said. "Will he come here? I have no idea."

In the meantime, the Bisons activated infielder Trent Durrington off the disabled list. Durrington hit .300 with a double and two RBIs in four games before being placed on the DL April 18 with a lower back strain. With reliever Jason Beverlin retiring, the Herd is still down a player but with Cliff Lee ready to return to Cleveland, Fausto Carmona be back in the Herd rotation soon. "There's a move imminent from the big league level," Lovullo said. "We're just holding that spot open."

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The game was just 16 minutes old with the Bisons trailing 3-0 before pouring rains forced a 64-minute delay. The grounds crew had difficulty keeping the tarp on the infield as winds whipped through Dunn Tire Park at more than 40 mph. The crew used sandbags and carts to prevent the tarp from blowing away.

The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader when the PawSox return to Buffalo on May 5. The first game will resume where it left off -- with Ben Francisco at the plate with a 1-1 count in the bottom of the first and no one on -- while the second game will be seven innings. The suspension comes at a difficult time for the Bisons, who are looking to rebound after dropping their last two.

"I think you saw some of the frustration because guys wanted to get work in, but it's part of the game," Lovullo said. "There's a couple of things that happened that prevented us from playing the game. We wanted to play, we wanted to get out there and turn this thing around but we have to wait one day to get things pushed in the right direction."

Another drawback is that starting pitcher Jeff Harris, who threw 21 pitches, now has to wait five days before his next outing.

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The Bisons (9-5) host Syracuse at 6:05 p.m. today. Left-hander Jason Stanford (2-0) is scheduled to face right-hander Geremi Gonzalez (1-0).

e-mail: rmckissic@buffnews.com

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