PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Buffalo’s bats have gone silent at the worst possible time.
The Bisons were shut out for the second game in a row — running their scoreless string to 21 innings — Tuesday night and took a 1-0 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox before 9,941 at McCoy Stadium.
The outcome dropped the Herd (67-64) 3½ games behind the PawSox in the race for the International League wild-card playoff berth. Pawtucket (70-60), meanwhile, moved to just one game behind first-place Rochester (72-60) in the North Division race.
Norfolk (69-63) and Lehigh Valley (67-64), which also are contending for the wild card, both lost Tuesday night.
The Bisons hit into four double plays and had another runner erased on an attempted steal, as they lost their third straight to Pawtucket and finished 7-9 in the season series against the Red Sox.
Buffalo had five hits and received three walks but left just three runners on base because they grounded into double plays in the first, sixth and eighth inning, and Moises Sierra lined into a double play in the fourth.
Wasted was a solid pitching performance by three Bisons pitchers — starter Drew Hutchison (0-2), Scott Gracey and Justin Germano, who pitched three shutout innings in his only non-starting appearance of the season.
Pawtucket scored its run in the fourth inning when a two-out single by Drew Sutton sent home Brock Holt, who had led off with a single and moved into scoring position on a single by Ryan Lavarnway.
Four Pawtucket pitchers shared the shutout with starter Anthony Ranaudo (2-1) going 6∏ innings for the win. Anthony Carter pitched the ninth, striking out the last two batters, for his 20th save.
The Bisons will be off today and begin a four-game home series Thursday night against Lehigh Valley.
The Herd and the IronPigs are tied for third place in the North Division standings.
Right-handerChien-Ming Wang (8-7, 2.72) is scheduled to start for Buffalo against right-hander David Buchanan (2-1, 1.77).