(BISONS) A pair of triple-A rookie pitchers took center stage at Coca-Cola Field for Thursday's doubleheader between the Chiefs and Bisons.
24-year-old Luis Atilano pitched six scoreless innings in Syracuse's, 3-0, game one win; while 40-year-old rookie, Ken Takahashi, went the distance in Buffalo's 2-0 victory in game two.
Takahashi needed only 71 pitches (48 strikes) for his first win and complete game of his triple-A career. The southpaw struck out six and allowed just three hits over seven innings. Takahashi allowed more than one batter to reach base in just one inning.
In the second, two walks put runners on first and second with one out but Takahashi got Marcos Yepez looking and Gustavo Molina to groundout to second to end the threat. The 40-year-old had it on cruise control after the second, throwing just 37 pitches over the final five innings.
For Takahashi the win was well overdue. The lefty entered the game with an 0-3 record but a 2.72ERA is more indicative of the way he has been pitching of late for the Bisons.
Buffalo couldn't solve Atilano, who made his triple-A debut in game one, as his outing almost mirrored Takahashi's. Atilano got two timely double-plays to thwart Bisons rallies en route to six shutout innings and his first triple-A victory. A 2003 first-round draft pick, Atilano struck out four and got 12 groundball outs over his 77-pitch (53 strikes) performance.
Both games started in almost the exact same fashion for the Herd. Argenis Reyes hit a lead-off double and Jesus Feliciano moved him over to third. In game one Nick Evans hit a hard grounder right at shortstop Ian Desmond and was unable to get the run home. However in the nightcap, Evans got it past the drawn in Desmond and into left field, plating the eventual winning run.
Jason Dubois added a run in the fifth, belting his second home run of the year for the Bisons.
In game one it was a pair of home runs that provided the offense for Syracuse as Seth Bynum and Daryle Ward each went deep for the Chiefs.
Bisons' starter Pat Misch gave the Herd four solid innings in game one. The southpaw struck out seven and allowed just the one solo home run to Bynum in the fourth before being pulled in favor of Arturo Lopez.
Game two was played in a speedy one hour and 21 minutes, setting a record for the shortest seven-inning game in the Bisons modern era.
Tomorrow the Chiefs and Bisons play two more with game one scheduled for 6:05 p.m.