Niagara Gazette

April 6, 2013

Jimenez blast lifts Bisons in bottom of the eighth

By Matt Parrino
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — The Rochester Red Wings showed off their sticks, blasting two home runs in Friday’s matinee at Coca-Cola Field, but it was the Bisons’ Luis Jimenez whose long ball mattered most.

Jimenez, a 30-year-old lefty from Venezuela, took a first-pitch fast ball from Anthony Slama and deposited it over the right field wall into the parking lot along Exchange Street to lift the Herd to a 3-2 win over the Red Wings (0-2).

“I got a very good scouting report from (teammate) Adam Loewen who faced (Slama) before,” Jimenez said. “He said the fastball was going to be sneaky and I tried to be ready for that.”

The home run was the second on the season for Jimenez and his third hit in two games. Bisons (2-0) manager Marty Brown said that he’s glad to have Jimenez on his team after facing him last year when he managed Las Vegas and the first baseman played at Tacoma.

Brown said Jimenez is a nice presence to have in the order behind Moises Sierra and Anthony Gose, and that he’s on a mission to help the team win in any way he can. The skipper also said Jimenez has the best raw power he’s seen since he had former Bisons slugger Russell Branyan.

“I just try to be behind the ball and on time because it’s cool weather, and I’m not usually a good hitter in cold weather,” Jimenez said. “I’m doing very good right now and feeling real good.”

The Jimenez blast may not have been the game-winning home run if not for the stellar effort from the Bisons’ bullpen. Three Buffalo relievers combined for four innings of almost perfect work, allowing only one hit and no runs, while racking up five strikeouts.

Mickey Storey recorded three of those strikeouts, and after the game Brown said he can’t say enough good things about his righty out of the pen.

“He’s been throwing the ball well,” Brown said. “His last two or three outings have been just like that. So we feel good about throwing him out there.”

Brown likes Storey’s versatility because he can pitch in the middle or at the end of games. Brown said he’s open to the idea of using Storey as a closer at some point, but likes what he brings in the middle of games right now.

Veteran starter Ramon Ortiz took the hill for the Herd and threw five innings, giving up the only two Rochester runs and finishing with seven strikeouts. Reliever Alex Hinshaw got the win after only throwing 2/3 of the eighth inning.

Bisons center fielder Anthony Gose continues to impress with his adventurous approach on the basepaths. He finished 2 for 4 with a pair of singles, but his activity at third base forced former Bisons lefty Mike O’Connor to balk in the top of the sixth, plating Gose to tie the game at two runs apiece.

Red Wings No. 3 hitter Oswaldo Arcia hit his second home run in as many days. After belting a bomb to straight away center on Thursday in the opener, he sent one to right center against Ortiz, who gave up two long balls in the game. Arcia is hitting .429 on the season.

The Bisons travel down the I-90 to play a two-game set in Rochester to close out the week. First pitch today is at 1:05 p.m. and can be heard on WWKB AM 1520 or bisons.com.

NOTES: Bisons left fielder Ryan Langerhans hit a pair on singles in the win to improve his average to .375. … Friday’s win was Marty Brown’s 240th as manager of the Bisons, moving him within 13 of tying the team’s modern era wins record. … The paid attendance at the game was 4,984. … Buffalo native and Bisons second baseman Jim Negrych finished 1 for 2 with a sacrifice bunt batting seventh in Buffalo’s lineup.

Contact sports editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find him on Twitter @MattParrino.