The Buffalo Bisons were hoping to start their third series of the season on a winning note, but the Pawtucket Red Sox had other plans in mind.
Red Sox pinch-hitter Mike Lockwood drove in the winning run with a fly ball to center in the bottom of the 10th inning, as the Bisons lost to Pawtucket, 4-3, in the first game of a four-game set.
"We came out ready to play," said Bisons manager Marty Brown. "I think that late-inning pitching kind of let us down."
Losing pitcher Jake Robbins (0-2) issued a walk to the PawSox's George Lombard to open the 10th, and it didn't take long before Lombard was in scoring position after stealing second. Robbins then walked Luis Figueroa and Kevin Youkilis' ground out moved Lombard to third. Brown pulled in the infield, then Lockwood's fly ball to center scored Lombard.
"Jake had already shown that his command was a little iffy and I wanted to give him a way to pitch out of that if could be," Brown said. "Lockwood was coming in cold, even though he was hitting left-handed, it seemed like a good matchup to me."
Pawtucket took a 2-0 lead in the first when Shawn Wooten homered over the left center field fence with one on. But Buffalo answered with a run in the second. Ernie Young singled to left and Ryan Garko drew a walk. When Jeff Liefer grounded out, Young moved to third and Garko to second. Andy Abad grounded out to Youkilis at first, and Young scored to trim the Red Sox lead to 2-1.
Friday's game was the first of 16 between the two teams. Last season, the clubs split the season series with each team winning five of eight in the opponent's home park. The PawSox won the last two meetings in 2004, but it was Buffalo that had a five-game winning streak in the series from August 12-19, 2004.
The teams will meet again at 1:05 p.m., today (Radio 1230 AM, 1330 AM) with right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (0-1, 7.50) facing righty John Stephens (0-1, 9.00).