Buffalo first-baseman Brett Wallace smashed a walkoff grand slam in the 12th inning, his third home run of the afternoon, as the Bisons came from behind to defeat the Pawtucket Red Sox, 10-6, Sunday afternoon at Coca-Cola Field to move into a first-place tie with Pawtucket in the IL wild card standings.
The Bisons slugged five home runs in the contest and plated all ten of their runs via the long ball. Wallace’s game-winning slam (16) went to left field with two outs in the 12th against reliever Miguel Celestino (1-3). Celestino had allowed a single to Anthony Gose to begin the inning, then walks to Dan Johnson (intentional) and Matt Hague with two outs to set the stage for Wallace.
Bryce Brentz slugged a two-run home run (11) and drove home four runs for the PawSox, who blew leads of 5-2 and 6-5 in the late innings of regulation. Pawtucket stranded two men on base in the 11th and 12th innings against reliever Ryan Tepera (7-3), including wasting a one-out triple from Derrik Gibson in the 11th.
With the loss, Pawtucket (74-62) has lost three straight and seven of its last ten. The squad remained 3.5 games behind first-place Syracuse in the North Division with nine games remaining, as the Chiefs fell at Lehigh Valley, 5-3, on Sunday. Buffalo (73-61) won its fifth straight and is now 25-9 since being swept in a four-game series at McCoy Stadium from July 17-20th.
After Anthony Gose hit a game-tying three-run blast (3) against Dalier Hinojosa in the seventh, Wallace took Hinojosa deep to left in the eighth to knot the score at 6. Wallace and George Kottaras each connected on solo homers against Anthony Ranaudo in the fifth.
Ranaudo allowed four total runs and missed out a chance to earn his 15th victory of the season. He lasted 6.1 innings and permitted seven hits and three walks. After Hinojosa gave up two runs on two homers in his 1.1 innings of work, Drake Britton retired all eight men he faced to bring the game into the 11th inning.
Garin Cecchini went 3-for-5 including a go-ahead RBI double in the top of the eighth against reliever Chad Jenkins that made the score 6-5. Jenkins gave up three runs in the seventh to put Pawtucket in front 5-2, including a two-out, two-run single by Brentz to cap the five-hit rally.
Wallace finished 4-for-6 with three homers and six runs batted in. Gose had three hits including a homer, three RBI and two runs scored.
Game three of the four-game series is scheduled for Monday night with first pitch at 7:05 pm, as Pawtucket looks avoid falling behind Buffalo in the wild card race. PawSoxright-hander Matt Barnes (7-8, 3.89) is slated to start against Buffalo lefty Brad Mills (1-0, 3.10). Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.
Following the six-game road trip the PawSox return to McCoy Stadium to finish the regular season with a four-game homestand that begins on Friday, August 29th. The stand features two games against Syracuse and then two with Rochester
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