PAWTUCKET – The first game of the last third of the season did not get off to its desired start for the Buffalo Bisons.
The Pawtucket Red Sox scored two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings to break open what was a tie game and beat the visiting Herd, 5-2. Thursday’s International League contest was played before 8,212 at McCoy Stadium. Boston outfielder Shane Victorino, placed on the DL almost two months ago, had two of the PawSox’ 10 hits and scored twice.
The losing streak by the Herd (48-49) continues after they dropped three in a row entering the All-Star break.
Pawtucket opened the scoring in the second inning after Alex Hassan connected for a two-out home run off Buffalo starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx.
Buffalo scored its first run in the third inning when Kevin Pillar ripped a one-out, ground-rule double to right field, scoring Ryan Goins. They added another run in the eighth when Cory Aldridge hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to score Jared Goedert. The Herd left the bases loaded in the eighth, finishing the game with eight left on. Goedert had three hits, the only Bison with a multi-hit game.
Bibens-Dirkx lasted four innings, giving up three hits with four strikeouts and two walks in what was a spot start. Reliever Aaron Sanchez (0-3) took the loss after yielding two runs to the six batters he faced in one inning of work. Starter Chris Herandez went five innings for the PawSox, but it was Dalier Hinojosa (1-5) who got the win with two innings of scoreless relief.
The game was the opener of a four-game set at McCoy. The series continues tonight (7 p.m., Radio 1520 AM) with Buffalo sending Esmil Rogers (8-6, 3.92) to the mound to face Steven Wright (4-1, 2.04). After this weekend, the teams will wrap up their season series in Buffalo, Aug. 23-26.