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Laffey helps Herd sweep

It was a dominating pitching performance in Game One followed by a dramatic performance in Game Two.

It produced a doubleheader sweep for the Buffalo Bisons over the Louisville Bats at Dunn Tire Park on Wednesday night.

Lefty Aaron Laffey continued his impressive progression in Triple-A by throwing a two-hit shutout in a 4-0 win in the first game.

In the nightcap, the Herd tied the game in the fifth, then won it in extra innings when Jonathan Van Every hit a solo homer in the 10th for a 4-3 triumph.

Laffey won his fourth straight game, pitching all seven innings. He threw 88 pitches, including 56 for strikes in finishing with six strikeouts and one walk.

"[Laffey] is very productive with all his pitches and does not back down from any competition," manager Torey Lovullo said. "It's just really fun to watch him work out there. Because of him we were able to have a fully loaded bullpen, which got us through the second game."

Laffey had a difficult May, starting the season 0-3, including 10 earned runs on 12 hits in 2 2/3 innings during a loss to Indianapolis on May 22.

It's been nothing but quality starts for the Maryland native since, however. He's rattled off four straight wins, allowing only two earned runs for a 0.69 ERA over that span.

"I just think it has to do with my comfort level," Laffey said. "Maybe I was a little uncomfortable and after the first two [losses] I was down on myself.

"I've earned the respect of my teammates. I feel like I should be here [and] I'm able to go right at the hitter and not second guess myself."

While Laffey took care of the pitching, Jason Cooper took care of the offense in the opener, going 3 for 3 to drive in the first three Buffalo runs -- all with two outs. He had an RBI single in the first, a solo homer in the third and an RBI double in the fifth.

Van Every hit a solo shot to left field in the sixth inning for the 4-0 lead before he played the hero's role in the nightcap.

In a game scheduled to go seven innings, Van Every had a solo shot on a 2-1 pitch to win it in the 10th.

Louisville had taken a 3-1 lead, but the Herd tied the game in the fifth without a hit on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Hector Luna and a bases-loaded walk to Keith Ginter.

Luna went down in the sixth inning when he was hit in the face by a pitch from Wes Wilkerson. Lovullo said the ball hit Luna in the cheek and the nose.

"There's a significant amount of swelling and it looks like he just went 10 rounds with Mike Tyson so it looks like he'll be out for [today] and maybe the next day," Lovullo said. "For precautionary reasons we're going to have him X-rayed . . . but nothing that should keep him out for an extended period of time."

The Bisons' offense took a hit on Wednesday when outfielder Ben Francisco was recalled to Cleveland. Francisco was the Herd's top hitter and his .329 batting average ranked fifth in the International League.

Also recalled to the Indians was Herd closer Edward Mujica. The righty is 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA and 11 saves in 22 games with the Bisons.

With room on the roster, Buffalo activated infielder Trent Durrington. Durrington was placed on the disabled list June 8 with a strained left calf.

Buffalo and Louisville will close out their season series this afternoon (1:05 p.m., Radio 1230, 1330 AM) with lefty Eric DuBose (1-0, 3.60) scheduled to start for the Herd against righty Tom Shearn (3-4, 4.62).

Wednesday night's crowd was about 2,500 in the ballpark with the announced attendance at 6,915.



Bisons 4-4, Louisville 0-3

The Pitch: Van Every homers in 10th inning to win second game, his second homer of the night. ... Laffey pitches two-hit shutout with six strikeouts in first game. ... Cooper goes 3 for 3 in first game.

Fast fact: Van Every extended his hitting streak to seven games.

Next game: Today vs. Louisville Bats, 1:05 p.m. at Dunn Tire Park (Senior and Businesspersons Day).