Originally created 06/08/06

Childers beans seagull

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Seagulls shouldn't fly between Bisons and Bulls.

One of the birds had the misfortune to learn that during Sunday's Triple-A game between the Buffalo Bisons and the Durham Bulls. The seagull was struck by a pitch, carried off the field by a player and later flew away.

The Bisons were batting in the bottom of the 11th inning when the seagull flew between the mound and home plate just as Durham reliever Jason Childers, from Westside, released the ball.

The ball knocked the seagull to the ground. Ramon Vazquez swung and missed, with the ball getting away from the catcher. Since it was a third strike, Vazquez ran to first and was thrown out.

Umpires conferred on the bizarre happenings and ruled play should have stopped as soon as the bird was hit.

CARDINALS: The St. Louis Cardinals put struggling closer Jason Isringhausen, who has blown two of his past three save opportunities, on the do-not-pitch list for the second consecutive day on Wednesday.

Isringhausen, manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan all characterized the days off as a mental break. Isringhausen was tied for the NL lead with 18 saves but his four blown saves equaled last season's total.

The Cardinals finished a nine-game homestand on Wednesday. They have a day off before a six-game trip starts on Friday.

The only other pitcher on the staff with a save is rookie Adam Wainwright, who has one.

"One day off isn't all that great," La Russa said. "Two would be better."

Isringhausen gave up a go-ahead three-run homer to Ken Griffey Jr. in an 8-7 loss on Monday, and blew another save on Friday against the Cubs. In both cases he was undone by control problems, and has walked 23 batters in 23 innings.

YANKEES: When New York lost a pair of power-hitting outfielders, nobody was sure how they would hold up.

Then Melky Cabrera came to the rescue from Triple-A Columbus.

Filling in admirably for injured left fielder Hideki Matsui, Cabrera has delivered several key hits and some surprisingly solid defense since he was called up from the minors on May 9. Gary Sheffield is also injured.

The highlight came Tuesday night, when the soft-spoken rookie made an astounding catch to rob Manny Ramirez of a tying homer in the eighth inning and preserve a 2-1 victory over the rival Boston Red Sox.

"There was so much involved in that particular situation that I think it's a catch that's going to be remembered for a while," New York manager Joe Torre said. "It was special."


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