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Padilla sparks Bisons' win

GWINNETT, Ga. -- Veteran outfielder Jorge Padilla gave the Buffalo Bisons the offensive jolt they were expecting when they obtained him from the Toronto Blue Jays organization last week.

The 30-year-old outfielder gave the Herd the lead for good with a three-run homer in the fifth inning in a 6-3 victory over the Gwinnett Braves on Tuesday night at Coolray Field.

Padilla lifted his batting average from .182 to .312 with the Herd after a 3-for-5 night. He scored twice and stole a base.

Valentino Pascucci hit his eighth home run of the season for the Bisons -- with Padilla aboard in the third inning. Both Buffalo homers came against loser Jo-Jo Reyes (1-5).

The victory kept the Herd (37-35) from dropping to .500 for the first time since April 9 as they reached the halfway mark of the International League schedule. Buffalo was 26-46 and last in the IL North, 15 1/2 games out of first place, a year ago.

Buffalo was only a half game off the lead on June 6, the day that slugger Mike Hessman was hit by a pitch in a game at Norfolk. Hessman has not played since. IL batting leader Jesus Feliciano was called up by the New York Mets the next day. Without Hessman and Feliciano, Buffalo is only 4-10.

The Bisons got a solid pitching performance from lefty Pat Misch, (6-3), who went eight innings with the help of three double plays. Manny Acosta struck out the side in the ninth for the save.

The Bisons' starting pitcher for the third game of the four-game series tonight (7:05 p.m., Radio 1520) has not been announced although Bobby Livington is expected to get the assignment. Right-hander Todd Redmond (7-6, 4.18) is set to go for the G-Braves.

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