Share this article

print logo

Egbert provides more great relief

Fernando Cabrera got the win Sunday with two scoreless innings but fellow Bisons reliever Jack Egbert really set the table.

Egbert came on in a 9-3 hole with runners at second and third and one out in the sixth. He struck out Pawtucket's Will Middlebrooks and got Josh Kroeger on a grounder to escape the inning. The Bisons then got five runs in the bottom of the frame and eventually pulled out their 10-9, 10-inning win over the Red Sox.

"We feel our lineup can put runs on the board like we did today, and as a pitcher, you feel getting out of a tough spot like that can give you life," said Egbert, a 28-year-old right-hander. "You get a few hits right away and you get the ball rolling right away."

That's seven scoreless innings in four outings for Egbert, who made seven cameo appearances here after missing all of 2010 due to Tommy John surgery.

"He's back to the velocity he once had when he got to the big leagues [in 2009 with the Chicago White Sox] and that's a good sign," said manager Wally Backman. "I saw him last year at 87-88 [mph] and he's 90-91 now and that's back where he once was."

"No problems at all with the elbow," said Egbert, a sinker-slider specialist. "I'm not worried anymore. Last year, I was just trying to get back but towards the end I started to feel good and it's carried over."


The catchers' union must love that Rob Johnson set up Buffalo's winning run in the 10th by taking off on a steal of second when he saw no one covering the bag and high-kicking reliever Clayton Mortensen on the mound.

"I played against him before, I knew he had a high leg kick and I hadn't shown steal at all against these guys," Johnson said. "I've been known to steal a bag every once in a while (three last year with San Diego and 28 with Triple-A Tacoma from 2006-2008), so I was looking for that high leg kick. When he did, I just let it go."


Matt Harvey, the Mets' 2010 top draft pick, lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his home debut. He gave up six runs on six hits, walked three and saw his ERA reach 7.62 after a six-run fourth that opened with two walks.

"He was very good the first three innings and got himself in trouble in the fourth with two walks and just kept trying to pound the strike zone harder and harder and harder," said manager Wally Backman. "We've talked about how you have to take yourself off, back off the mound and sometimes go a little bit softer."

"He's still learning it's OK to slow everything down," Johnson said. "You don't have to pump 100 [mph]. It's more about locating pitches. The guy's got incredible stuff. He just has to make quality pitches."


The Bisons' last win when trailing by six or more runs came on June 8, 2008 against Rochester, when they wiped out a 6-0 deficit to win in the 10th, 8-7. Sunday's game took 4 hours, 8 minutes and the paid attendance was 4,445. Heavy morning rains held the in-house crowd down to a few hundred. The Bisons open a series against Lehigh Valley here tonight at 6 (Radio 1520 AM). Jeurys Familia (1-0) starts for the Herd.