Hits were hard to come by on Saturday at McCoy Stadium, but each team was able to get the one they needed to earn a victory and split a doubleheader.
Pawtucket got theirs in the ninth inning of the afternoon's first contest as Christian Vazquez singled home Justin Henry for the only tally in a 1-0 walk-off win. Matt Tuiasosopo homered off the foul pole about two hours later to help the Bisons to a 3-2 victory in the twinbill's nightcap.
With only six runs scored all afternoon, credit must be given to the hurlers. Sean Nolin got the nod for Buffalo in game one and tossed six shutout innings. The southpaw allowed just three hits and one walk while punching out seven batters for the third time in 2014. However, he was left with a no-decision as the PawSox won the game against the Bisons bullpen.
Making a spot start in game two, Chad Jenkins yielded just a single run on three hits in five frames. Having not thrown more than one inning in any outing since April 9, the righty was extremely efficient to get five innings out of only 64 pitches. The lone blemish on his line was a 3rd-inning home run from Alex Hassan.
Thanks to the solid work from Jenkins, the Bisons were able to win game two in the sixth inning. After a two-out hustle double from Kevin Pillar, Tuiasosopo hit the first pitch he saw from PawSox starter Jeremy Kehrt off the foul pole for the two-run shot that gave Buffalo a 3-1 lead. The blast was Tuiasosopo's first of the season and capped a perfect 3-for-3 performance at the plate.
The PawSox rallied to score a run in the bottom of the sixth when Bryce Brentz's RBI-single off Herd relief Austin Bibens-Dirkx made it 3-2. But with two men on and two outs, John Stilson got Buffalo out of the jam by coming in the game and getting a fly out from Carlos Rivero.
Stilson stayed on in the seventh inning to record his first save of the season.
Buffalo had just four hits in the first game, which ended with a bit of controversy. After Pawtucket's Ryan Lavarnway singled to start the inning, reliever Mickey Storey was called for a balk on a pick off attempt. Bisons skipper Gary Allenson would argue the call before getting ejected by umpire Brian DeBrauwere. Two batters later, Vazquez blooped a single under the glove of second baseman Chris Getz and into right field for the game-winning hit.
Sean Nolin's six-inning effort was the Herd's fourth quality start of the season (6.0 IP and 3 or fewer earned runs). However, the Bisons have won just one of those four starts…Munenori Kawasaki was added to the roster today after being optioned from Toronto. He did not appear in either game…Bisons pitchers issued just four walks in the two games combined and lowered their team ERA to 2.97…Kevin Pillar was the only Buffalo batter with a hit in each contest. He went 2-7 with a double and a run scored in the two games combined.