PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in a pair of runs, one with a solo home run in the seventh inning, to lead the Pawtucket Red Sox over the Buffalo Bisons, 3-1, striking a damaging blow to the Herd’s chances of making the International League playoffs.
Bradley, who played on two University of South Carolina College World Series championship teams, opened the season as the starting left fielder for the parent Boston Red Sox before he was demoted to Triple-A.
The loss dropped the Bisons (67-62) 3ø games behind first-place Rochester (71-59) in the North Division standings. What’s more, the Herd fell 1ø games behind Pawtucket (68-60) and a half-game behind Norfolk (68-62) in the wild-card race. Also, Buffalo is only one game in front of Lehigh Valley (66-63) in the wild-card standings.
Rookie left-hander Sean Nolin (0-1) made the start for the Bisons and left with one out and two on in the sixth inning, trailing by 2-1. Reliever Joel Carreno gave up the homer to Bradley, an insurance run for the PawSox.
Buffalo’s run came on a solo homer in the sixth inning by Clint Robinson, his second of the season. The Herd, which had six hits and three walks in the game left eight runners on, twice leaving runners in scoring position with two out.
Right-hander Charlie Haeger (4-3) pitched six innings for Pawtucket before turning things over to the bullpen, which shut out the Bisons on two hits the rest of the way.
Pawtucket took the lead in the fourth when Jonathan Diaz, who had led off with a walk, scored from second on a two-out single by Drew Sutton.
In the fifth, Jeremy Hazelbaker led off with a single, stole second and scored on Bradley’s single to center.
The Bisons left four runners on over the last three innings.
Catcher A.J. Jiminez, who joined the Bisons on Saturday from Double-A New Hampshire, made his first start at catcher. He batted ninth and was 1 for 4 with a single in the fifth inning.
Kyle Drabek (1-0, 0.00) will start tonight in the third of the four-game series against the Sox (7:05, Radio 1520 AM) against right-hander Clayton Mortensen (2-0, 3.52).