One swing from Adam Lind made all the difference.
Lind’s two-run bomb in the eighth lifted the Pawtucket Red Sox to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Bisons on Monday.
After dropping two games to IL North leader Lehigh Valley over the weekend, the Herd entered the game tied with Pawtucket for second place.
But they simply could not get the bats going early against Sox starter Josh D. Smith who mixed his pitches well and worked both sides of the plate.
“We haven’t been swinging the bats well at all so it’s hard to tell,” manager Bobby Meacham said.
It was a Lind sac fly in the first that gave the PawSox the early 1-0 lead.
The Bisons took the 2-1 lead in the fifth on Roemon Fields two-run triple.
The Sox had the shift on Fields, who drove the ball deep to right field. As Fields (2-for-2, BB) turned second and headed for third there was a fleeting moment where it looked as if he might be able to turn it into an inside the park home run. But with two outs manager Bobby Meacham aired on side of caution and held Fields up at third.
“Honestly it was up to him,” Fields said. “I saw the stop sign so they must have had the ball at the time. I was sticking to the approach that I had. He’s a good pitcher so you had to pick one side of the plate. I was looking inside. He pitched inside and I hit it.”
The Herd followed that up with a 1-2-3 sixth as starter Nick Tepesch (6IP, 3H, 5K, 2BB) posted zeroes the rest of the way.
“He found something,” Meacham said. “I gotta talk to him and see exactly what it is, but it felt like he got on a roll. He found something that was working, a combination that was working well and hopefully we can just keep going in that direction.”
The Herd had a scary moment in the eighth when catcher Danny Jansen was hit on the hand by a pitch. Athletic trainer Bobby Tarpey spent several minutes tending to Jansen at first base. Jansen remained in the game, but his status going forward is uncertain.
“Not really sure. I have to go back and check with him. I know it was pretty sore,” Meacham said.
Josh A. Smith picked up the win while Luis Santos was tagged with the loss.
Ryan Borucki was named the IL Pitcher of the Week for the period of June 18-25. Borucki, who is ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the Blue Jays system, tossed a complete game (7IP) shutout in the Herd’s 4-0 win over Pawtucket in game one of a doubleheader last week.
Borucki’s MLB debut is expected to come soon.
Bobby Meacham on catcher Danny Jansen who currently leads the team in avg. Hits and RBI.
“Offensively, he stays within himself. A lot of guys will try to do too much or not know themselves.”
The Sox lineup features two of Boston’s top 10 prospects. OF Sam Travis (No. 6) and pitcher Jalen Beeks who is ranked No. 7 by MLB.com.
The Bisons and Pawtucket will go at it again Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.
Bison RHP Sean Reid-Foley (2-2) will face RHP Justin Haley (4-6).