Ryan L. Fox
Nothing is more relaxing in the middle of the week like a baseball game. On a clear brisk Wednesday evening at McCoy, the Pawtucket Red Sox were wrapping up their home series against the visiting Buffalo Bisons. Already the Bisons had taken the first two games of the series and were looking for the sweep. The PawSox, on the other hand, were looking to score a victory to prevent said sweep as well as end their homestand on a high note.
Taking the mound for the PawSox was RHP Chandler Shepherd (0-3, 5.23) looking for his first victory of the 2019 season. Opposing him was Bisons RHP Sean Reid-Foley (0-1, 20.25).
The game started off with a bang. But it was rather the Bisons who got things rolling.
Two of the first three Bisons batters were able to reach base via single. After 1B Cavan Biggio struck out, LF Anthony Alford hit a blooper to PawSox 3B Michael Chavis. Chavis got the ball over to 1B for what would have been an inning ending 5-3 play but 1B Josh Ockimey could not hold onto the ball. Alford got on base safely and the inning continued.
With the bases now loaded, SS Richard Urena hit a bases clearing triple into the right field corner to make it 3-0. Urena himself scored on the next at on C Reese McGuire's RBI double to make it 4-0.
The Bisons then reloaded the bases yet again as 2B Bo Bichette came up to bat for the 2nd time in the inning. Bo ended up clearing the bases with his own 3 RBI triple to make the score 7-0. Thankfully the next batter grounded out to end the inning.
However the PawSox were able to answer the Bisons big inning with one of their own.
In the bottom 2nd, with two men on and two outs in the inning, C Juan Centeno was able to hit a double into center field that cleared the bases to make it 7-2. Then Centeno was able to score himself thanks to an RBI double by 2B Mike Miller to make it 7-3. Miller was able to advance to 3rd on a wild pitch during SS Tzu-Wei Lin's at-bat before coming around to score on Lin's RBI to make it 7-4.
However in the top 4th, Bisons 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. came to the plate. On the first pitch from PawSox LHP Bobby Poyner, Guerrero Jr. crushed a 441-ft solo home run over the left field wall to extend the Bisons lead to 8-4.
The PawSox matched that later on in the game.
In the bottom 7th and with two outs in the inning, RF Rusney Castillo was able to get on base via single before advancing to 2nd on a throwing error by Urena. Then Chavis came to the plate. On a 3-0 count, Chavis knocked a 434-ft home run into left field to make it 8-6.
Then in the bottom 8th, PawSox magic happened.
After an Ockimey flyout, LF Bryce Brentz knocked a double to left almost in the same area. Then CF Gorkys Hernandez hit an RBI single into left field that scored Brentz to make it 8-7. Hernandez was able to advance to 3rd on a single by Centeno to pit runners at the corners. Two batters later, Lin came to the plate. With two outs, Lin drove a fly ball into center that scored both Hernandez and Centeno to give the PawSox a 9-8 lead. Three batters later, with two men on base DH Sam Travis added two more insurance runs with an single up the middle to make it 11-8.
RHP Josh Taylor then came in to the top 9th inning for the save opportunity. With a man on 1st, Taylor got Bisons CF Roemon Fields to strikeout to end the game and complete the comeback and avoid the series sweep against the Bisons.
Shepherd got the no-decision after going just 0.2 innings pitched. He gave up 5 hits, 7 runs (all unearned), struck out 1 batter, and actualyl ended up lowering his ERA from 5.23 to 4.91. The winning pitcher for the PawSox was actually RHP Trevor Kelley, who came on for relief in the top 8tho get the final out of the inning (0.1 innings pitched).
The PawSox get to enjoy their day off on Thursday before heading out on the long bus ride to Syracuse, New York for another series against divisional rival Syracuse Mets.
After the game, PawSox Manager and 2B Mike Miller spoke with the media. Click play to listen to what each of them had to say about the big comeback victory over the Buffalo Bisons.
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