PAWTUCKET - Buffalo Bisons pitchers walked just four batters in two games, but managed only a split of their International League doubleheader with Pawtucket, losing the first game, 1-0 in nine innings, and winning the nightcap, 3-2, Saturday afternoon at McCoy Stadium.
The PawSox won the opener in walk-off fashion when Christian Vazquez blooped a single to score Justin Henry. The Bisons weren’t happy with the way the run was scored.
Ryan Lavarnway singled to start the inning. That brought in Bison reliever Mickey Storey (0-1). He was called for a balk on a pick-off attempt advancing the runner.
Bisons manager Gary Allenson argued the call until finally being ejected. Two batters later, Vazquez singled off the glove of Bisons second baseman Chris Getz to plate the game-winner.
The Herd didn’t help themselves offensively as they were held to four hits, all singles. They left six on base.
Bisons starter Sean Nolin pitched six shutout innings, allowing three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. However, he was left with a no-decision.
Left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo made sure the Bisons would not be denied in the second game as he hit a two-run home run off the foul pole to give Buffalo a 3-1 lead and salvage the split.
Tuiasosopo’s first home run of the season came with two outs and Kevin Pillar aboard in the sixth inning.
The shot was the highlight to a 3-for-3 day at the plate and made a loser of Jeremy Kehrt (0-2).
Bison starter Chad Jenkins made the most of his spot start, evening his record at 1-1. He yielded just one run on three hits in five innings. He had not pitched more than one inning in any appearance since April 9.
He was touched for a home run in the third by Alex Hassan.
The PawSox made it a one-run game in the sixth on an RBI single by Bryce Brentz off Herd reliever Austin Bibens-Dirkx. But with two men on and two outs, John Stilson came in and got the final out on a fly ball.
Stilson stayed on in the seventh inning to record his first save.
The teams are off today and will conclude their four-game series on Monday.