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Saturday Morning Pitch: Syracuse at Bisons

Buffalo News file photo

Buffalo News file photo

Going to the game? Here's what you need to know:

Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) vs. Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals)

Coca-Cola Field

First pitch: 1:05 p.m.

Gates open: Noon.

Weather: As of Friday evening, the forecast for 1 p.m. was 67 degrees, partly cloudy skies and 0 percent chance of precipitation. Chance of rain goes to 20 percent at 3 p.m. updates for 14203:

Dog Day Afternoon: The Bisons hold their annual dog-day promotion Saturday. All dogs get in free and must enter through the centerfield gate. To participate in the annual pre-game Dog Day parade, make sure to be in the centerfield party area by 12:15 p.m.

Starting pitchers: LHP Wade LeBlanc (2-1, 2.73) vs. RHP Paolo Espino (1-2, 3.09). LeBlanc, 31, went 8-12 with the San Diego Padres in 2010. He had a decent outing on Monday, giving up three runs in a no decision. Espino, 29, has spent parts of the past seven seasons in Triple-A.

Last game: Quick hits: Syracuse 5, Bisons 0.

Bisons Prospects: Andy Burns started the year ranked 27th among Blue Jays prospects by Baseball America. He was called up Friday.

Nationals Prospects: Shortstop Trea Turner is ranked second in the Washington organization and No. 9 overall among minor league baseball prospects. Catcher Pedro Severino is 11th. Thursday's starting pitcher, Austin Voth, is the Nationals' No. 9 rated prospect by Baseball America.

Major connection: Syracuse third baseman Brendan Ryan has played 879 major league games over nine seasons. Ryan, 34, has a .234 career batting average but made his big-league defense thanks to superb defense. He hit .292 as the Cardinals’ starting shortstop in 2009. He played in four seasons with the Cards, three with the Yankees and three with the Mariners.

Injury update: Dalton Pompey returned to the lineup Friday after sitting out eight games with a heel injury. Pompey made a couple nice plays in center but he's struggling at the plate. He went 0 for 4 Friday night and is 1 for his last 24.

Cold as ice: When the Bisons get to the bottom of the batting order, don’t expect much. Catcher A.J. Jiminez is hitting .140. Shortstop Jio Mier is hitting .147. They both have just one hit in their last 14 at-bats.

WCC Race: It's the year of Atomic, who is 12-0 after winning again Friday night.

The homestand: The Bisons and Syracuse are playing a four-game series. The two teams meet again at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. The Bisons hit the road for a game at Durham Monday.

Tickets: $11-13,, Coca-Cola Field Box Office.

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