Mauro Gomez gave his former team a little forget-me-not.
Gomez, the one-time Pawtucket Red Sox player, went 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs on Thursday at Coca-Cola Field as the Buffalo Bisons split a doubleheader.
The Red Sox rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the first game by scoring eight runs in the sixth and putting an end to the Bisons’ nine-game winning streak, 8-3.
In the nightcap, 39-year-old pitcher Ramon Ortiz pitched five complete innings as the Herd bounced back with a 4-0 shutout. Bisons manager Marty Brown is now one win shy of tying Brian Graham for most wins in the franchise’s modern era with 253.
In the first game, Gomez went 1 for 2 with a homer and a walk and 1 for 2 in the nightcap with a single and a walk.
“Sometimes when you come from another team and you see them you want to beat them so bad,” said the Bisons’ Luis Jimenez, who hit a two-run homer in the second game. “You want to be anxious and do some stuff. We told him be suave, be easy, relax at home plate and let the ball drive. ... He’s relaxed right now and letting the ball drive. He’s not doing too much.”
The reigning International League MVP, Gomez hit .310 in 100 games with the PawSox, with 59 of his 120 hits going for extra bases.
He also tied for second in the IL with 24 home runs, while leading the league in slugging percentage (.589) and ranking fourth in RBIs (74) and total bases (228).
Gomez hasn’t disappointed since coming to the Herd and has reached safely in all 14 games. He is hitting .349 with four home runs and 10 RBIs. Brown said that he’s improving on defense.
“He’s starting to feel more comfortable on the field, he’s worked hard at it and I think it stems from getting on him about his concentration level more than anything,” Brown said.
Late last month, Gomez was designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox but was claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays and assigned to the Herd.
“He’s a solid guy, hard worker, good teammate, everything you can imagine,” Brown said.
“I’m sure Boston’s not feeling good about losing him and hoping he would clear, but I’m glad he didn’t, I’m glad to have him.”
But he probably won’t be here long. Brown said the Blue Jays will evaluate Gomez to see if he can help them.
“If they have a need I think he would be a guy they would look at to go to the major leagues along with Jimenez,” Brown said.
Game One starter Dave Bush was superb in retiring the first 13 batters but in the sixth, the PawSox sent 10 men to the plate and scored eight runs.
The inning began innocently enough on a swinging bunt by Dan Butler but a fielding error by shortstop Ryan Goins with one out uncorked the madness.
Drew Sutton hit a two-run double to right that just slipped past a diving Moises Sierra then Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a towering three-run homer, and Butler followed with a two-run blast.
The parent Toronto Blue Jays called up pitcher Brad Lincoln from the Herd, who activated Clint Everts off the disabled list of the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
The Bisons also placed pitcher Miguel Batista on the disabled list with a right shin contusion, retroactive to April 22.
Batista was 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA in three starts with the Bisons.
Lincoln appeared in five games for the Bisons and was 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in eight innings of work. He struck out 10 with three walks and held opponents to a .231 batting average.
Everts, 28, has yet to pitch in a game this season but last year, he was 3-2 with a 3.10 ERA and two saves in 37 relief appearances for Toronto’s Triple-A club in Las Vegas. He struck out 53 and allowed 53 hits in 61 innings of work. He also made 12 appearances with New Hampshire in 2012, going 2-1 with a 4.19 ERA.