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BISONS HANDED 17-2 POUNDING BY PAWSOX

The last time the Buffalo Bisons met the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Pawsox dominated the Herd, 17-3, in a game played Aug. 10 at North AmeriCare Park.

It was obvious pretty early on that the opener of their three-game series at McCoy Stadium on Saturday night was headed in the same direction.

Pawtucket scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back in a 17-2 drubbing of the Bisons before a crowd of 5,904. It was Buffalo's most lopsided loss of the season.

"It wasn't fun to watch, but we give Pawtucket the credit," Buffalo manager Jeff Datz said. "They came out and swung the bats well, and got after us. But our guys will regroup."

The victory vaulted the Pawsox past the Herd in their battle for an International League wild-card playoff berth. At 75-58, Pawtucket leads Buffalo (76-60) by one-half game for second place in the North Division standings. Division-leading Syracuse (76-58) lost, 4-3, to Rochester Saturday.

Eddy Diaz, Jimmy Hurst and Michael Coleman hit home runs for Pawtucket, which totaled 17 hits against three Bison pitchers.

Left-hander Mike Matthews (9-5) started for the Herd and lasted only into the fourth inning, surrendering seven runs. Reliever Huck Flener was ripped for eight more and Ben Blomdahl was touched for two in mop-up duty.

Keith Johns had four hits for the winners, who got three apiece from Hurst and Diaz. Hurst and Coleman each drove in four runs.

The blowout overshadowed the 31st home run of the season by Buffalo's Alex Ramirez, a solo shot in the fourth that tied him with Phil Hiatt for the team lead. They are also tied for the modern-era club record with Richie Sexson, who hit 31 last season. A Bill Selby homer in the ninth concluded the scoring.

Righty Juan Pena (8-9) pitched the first six innings for Pawtucket, allowing one run on four hits.

The three-game series continues at 1 p.m. today with Eddie Priest (6-5, 4.70 ERA) pitching for Buffalo against John Cummings (0-4, 5.94).

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