In what was destined to be a true pitcher's duel through seven innings, Pawtucket used a four-run rally in the eighth to defeat the Buffalo Bisons, 5-1, at Coca-Cola Field on Monday evening.
After the opening inning with the bats swinging for both squads and the score tied at 1-1, Buffalo's Colin McHugh and Pawtucket's Chris Hernandez took over the contest for the next five innings.
McHugh and Hernandez were locked in a pitcher's duel.
After retiring the final two batters in the bottom of the first, Hernandez went onto extinguish the next 15 of 16 batters, while recording five of his six total strikeouts.
McHugh dueled with Hernandez, retiring 15 of the 19 batters he faced between the second and sixth innings, collecting four of his six total strikeouts.
The Pawtucket and Buffalo pitching staffs combined to retire the next 35 of 37 batters through the top of the eighth.
The Red Sox used a four-run rally in the top of the eighth inning to take control of the contest. With a runner on base and no outs, Mauro Gomez crushed his 24th home run of the season into the left-center gap to break the long-standing tie, 3-1. On the next pitch, Andy LaRoche followed with a solo shot to the leftfield net for a 4-1 Pawtucket lead. The Red Sox added a run on a force out to second base later in the inning to extend their lead to 5-1.
From the start of the third inning, the Pawtucket pitching staff retired 21 consecutive Buffalo batters before allowing a single to Zach Lutz in the ninth.
The Bisons' lone run came in the bottom of the first, trailing 1-0 to the PawSox. With the bases loaded Josh Satin hit a sacrifice fly into shallow right field, driving in Fred Lewis from third with Lewis racing home to tie the contest at 1-1 on Satin's 54th RBI of the season.
Pedro Beato (4-4) recorded the loss for the Bisons in 1.0 innings, allowing four runs off five hits.
McHugh allowed only one run off three hits in 5.2 innings, striking out six batters.
Pawtucket's reliever Chris Carpenter (1-0) collected his first win of the season in 1.0 innings with a strikeout.
Continuing their 8-game homestand, the Herd will face IL-North opponent Lehigh Valley in the opening game of their four-game set on Tuesday evening at 7:05 p.m.
BISONS NOTES: Fred Lewis' run in the bottom of the first was his 68th of the season, which ranks him third in the IL...Josh Satin's 11-game hitting streak was snapped after going 0-for-3.
-- the herd --
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.