Coming off a losing road swing through Norfolk and Durham, the Buffalo Bisons were looking for a confidence boost. So a four-game sweep over an opponent is cause for celebration.
Good pitching and a fast offensive start helped the Bisons win their fourth consecutive game, 4-3, on Monday night at Coca-Cola Field. It came before an announced attendance of 6,759.
It was the Bisons' first four-game sweep since they defeated the Columbus Clippers at home, Aug. 5-10 last season. Before this current 10-game homestand, the Bisons were coming off a 3-5 road trip.
"We're putting together some games right now and we're not making a lot of mistakes, we're being aggressive, we're getting good pitching," Bisons manager Tim Teufel said.
Jason Botts had two RBIs and Nick Evans extended his hit streak to 17 games with a flair into right field during a three-run first inning.
Meanwhile, clean work from the bullpen is always a plus.
Reliever Brian Sweeney came on in the seventh. After giving up a single to Nick Green, Sweeney struck out John Hester and got Matt Angle to ground into a double play. Then in the eighth, Ryan Adams grounded out to second, Brandon Snyder popped out to Luis Figueroa at deep short before Teufel went to the pen again for Ryota Igarashi.
Norfolk's Jake Fox singled into shallow left field but the tying run was stranded when Igarashi fooled Josh Bell with a breaking pitch. Igarashi closed the game with a perfect ninth.
Bisons starter Mark Cohoon set the table for the bullpen by going six innings and allowing three runs on six hits with four strikeouts. After the Tides' two-run second inning, Cohoon allowed only two more runners to get into scoring position for the rest of his outing.
It was much better than Cohoon's last appearaance on the mound when he worked just 4 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs and a season-high 10 hits.
"It was a big, big thing for me," said Cohoon after recording his second victory of the season. "Even with the first win that I got, I gave up five runs and that was a battle as well. I finally got the ball down in the zone and I've been struggling with it the whole time."
Cohoon said he's had recent issues with balance which pitching coach Ricky Bones helped correct.
"I felt good, I had my fastball down and away and that happens usually when I feel good on the mound," he said. "I've been struggling all season with command whereas last year I had a lot better command. The biggest thing is being able to put guys away. The first couple of outings I tried to do too much but I've gotten back to staying within my skilled set."
The Bisons struck in the first with one out when Botts drove in two runs with a single into the gap in left center. Jesus Feliciano struck out as Botts stole second before Luis Hernandez's RBI single but the inning ended when Botts tried to score from second on the play.
The Bisons host Lehigh Valley at 7:05 p.m. tonight at Coca-Cola Field (Radio 1520 AM) with right-hander Jack Egbert (0-1) facing southpaw Ryan Feierabend (5-5).
Bisons 4, Norfolk 3
The Pitch: Cohoon goes six innings for his second win of the season Botts finishes with two RBIs. Sweeney and Igarashi leave Tides scoreless out of the bullpen.
Fast fact: Evans extends his hit streak to 17 games.
Next game: Today vs. Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. at Coca-Cola Field (Irish Festival Night).