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Bisons' Copeland named IL Pitcher of the Week after two shutout outings


Buffalo Bisons pitcher Scott Copeland was named International Pitcher of the Week today after throwing back-to-back performances of seven shutout innings in his first two career outings in Triple-A.

The oddity to Copeland's stellar work? He was sent back to Double- A New Hampshire by the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday because Brad Mills and Chad Jenkins were added to the Buffalo roster.

Copeland joins outfielder Kevin Pillar as the only Bisons honored by the IL this season. Pillar, who lost a 21-game hitting streak on Friday at Lehigh Valley, has won Batter of the Week twice this year.

Copeland fired seven shutout innings last Monday in Coca-Cola Field, posting a 5-0 win over Norfolk in his Triple-A debut. He followed that performance with seven more shutout frames in Saturday's 5-0 win at Lehigh Valley.

In 14 combined innings with Buffalo, Copeland has allowed 10 hits,  struck out 10 and walked four. The 26-year-old right-hander is 8-7 with a 3.70 ERA at New Hampshire in 26 appearances (21 starts).

The Bisons are off Monday and return to Coca-Cola Field to start the season's final homestand Tuesday night at 7 against Rochester. The Herd is 2 1/2 games out of the International League wild-card with 15 games left after suffering a devastating 3-2 loss Sunday night at Lehigh Valley. 

The Bisons had a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning of that one and let it get away, a scenario that's played out twice in the last six days. Maikel Franco hit a walkoff homer off closer Bobby Korecky to win the game for Lehigh Valley.

Korecky had given up just four earned runs over 56 1/3 innings in his first 46 outings this season. But in his last three appearances, he's given up 10 runs in a combined 1 1/3 innings and taken two losses.  Ouch.

You would think manager Gary Allenson is going to have to go with a different closer come Tuesday night -- and that Korecky might be looking at a trip to the MRI tube to see what's wrong.

About the reporters

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master's degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.