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RAMIREZ SETS DINGER RECORD AS BISONS POUND PAWSOX, 14-4

Alex Ramirez hit his third home run in three games in Sunday's 14-4 victory over the Pawtucket Red Sox, beating teammate Phil Hiatt to the Buffalo Bisons' modern-era season record.

Ramirez hit No. 32, breaking the 31 by Richie Sexson last season, as the Herd snapped back from a 17-2 drubbing the night before with a rout before 7,963 at McCoy Stadium.

The second-place Bisons (77-60) gained a measure of revenge for Saturday's humiliation, but what's more important, they slipped back in front of the Red Sox (75-59) by a half-game in pursuit of a playoff spot in the International League. First-place Syracuse (76-59) lost Rochester, 5-2, but remained one percentage point in front of Buffalo.

Buffalo and Pawtucket close their season series here tonight in what could be a pivotal game.

Hiatt hit No. 31 last Wednesday and seemed about to become the Bisons' new home run king. Then Ramirez got hot.

Jeff Manto (21), James Betzsold (10), Jolbert Cabrera (9) and Brandon Wilson (7) joined the home-run parade as the Bisons lashed out 20 hits, the most against Pawtucket this season.

After losses to Syracuse and Pawtucket, the Bisons came out of whatever funk they were in in a big way after falling behind, 3-0.

"That showed the character we have. It was nice to rebound and win," said Bisons manager Jeff Datz.

Winning pitcher Eddie Priest (7-5) allowed 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings; five came in the second inning when the Pawsox scored three runs.

"Eddie Priest did a super job after allowing three runs early," Datz said. "He settled in, kept them off the board and allowed us to get back in the game."

Cabrera also singled for his 46th multi-hit game. He has reached base in 112 of 119 starts and needs four hits to tie the modern Bisons record of 154 set by Kevin Young (1992).

Ramirez, who has 148, is also closing in on the single-season hit record and his 99 runs batted in are three shy of Brian Dorsett's club record 102 in 1992.

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