Bisons Rally Late To Take Series Opener Away From PawSox

Pawtucket Red Sox Press Release

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Rehabbing relievers Blaine Boyer and Carson Smith impressed in the middle innings, but the Buffalo Bisons plated four runs in the top of the ninth and overtook the Pawtucket Red Sox, 6-3, on Monday night at McCoy Stadium.

The PawSox (61-67) tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth, edged ahead in the seventh but dropped the opener of the four-game series with the Bisons (58-70) to kick off the seven-game homestand, the final one of the season.

Pawtucket starter Brian Johnson, who made his regular turn in the rotation after leaving his last start Wednesday when he was struck in the left leg by a line drive, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter in four frames of two-run ball.

Rehabbing Red Sox reliever Blaine Boyer (neck strain) followed and threw a scoreless fifth inning. Boyer, who landed on the disabled list August 6, made his first rehab appearance and sat 93-95 MPH with his fastball. The veteran right-hander threw 12 of his 16 pitches for strikes, allowed a single, induced a double play and generated a soft lineout to right field.

“He said he felt good afterwards, very encouraging,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said. “Good to see him out there. He said he felt a little bit rusty, but he was pretty impressive.”

Fellow rehabber Carson Smith, in his fifth appearance with the PawSox as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery, fired a 1-2-3 sixth inning highlighted by a pair of strikeouts. Smith first got a gentle comebacker that he handled on his own before he used a fastball and slider, respectively, for his punchouts. Smith’s fastball was consistently clocked between 90 and 91 MPH. 

“Overall, that one [slider] to finish with two strikes, that’s the kind of sweep and depth that he can get with that pitch,” Boles said. “He’s got plus life to his pitches. He throws Wiffle balls up there. It’s pretty impressive.”

PawSox second baseman Heiker Meneses (3-for-5), who batted out of the leadoff spot for the first time this season, and right fielder Bryce Brentz (2-for-4, 2B) paced the offense.

Buffalo starter Brett Oberholtzer fanned six over six innings of two-run work, and righty Carlos Ramirez (W, 1-0) retired all seven batters he faced.

Pawtucket left-hander Edgar Olmos (L, 8-3) ceded three unearned runs — and four runs total — in three otherwise strong stanzas.

Buffalo snatched a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when catcher Danny Jansen lifted a leadoff homer just over the left-field wall. Two batters later, shortstop Gregorio Petit smoked a solo rocket to left to double the lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, Pawtucket left fielder Ryan Court sliced a two-out, two-strike, two-run homer to right field to tie the game. Court’s 10 home runs this season are the second-most of his professional career.

The PawSox then claimed the lead, 3-2, in the bottom of the seventh when shortstop Deven Marrero doubled, advanced to third on a flyout and scored on a bloop RBI single from third baseman Jantzen Witte.

Buffalo, however, surged in the top of the ninth. With one out and sitting just a double shy of the cycle, Jansen instead launched a one-out solo homer to left field, just out of the reach of Court, who somersaulted over the wall into the bullpen. Following an error on PawSox first baseman Blake Swihart and a hit batter, Buffalo leadoff man Christian Lopes stroked a decisive three-run homer to make it 6-3.

The PawSox continue their four-game series with the Buffalo Bisons on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. PawSox left-hander Roenis Elias (1-3, 7.27) is scheduled to oppose Bisons righty Joe Biagini (0-1, 3.48). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 6:35 p.m.

The seven-game homestand runs through Sunday. Good seats are available, and fans can visit the McCoy Stadium box office, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and during all home games. Fans can also call (401) 724-7300 or log on to PawSox.com for tickets.