Behind a dominating performance from Jeff Francis, the Buffalo Bisons took a 2-0 win from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa., Friday night.
Francis pitched seven scoreless innings, scattering four hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Matt Hague and Luke Scott drove in runs in the eight to give the Herd the win.
Pitchers’ duel: It was a scoreless game through seven innings thanks to quick work by both starters. Scranton’s Luis Severino gave up just three hits with two walks in seven innings, adding six strikeouts.
Fantastic Francis: Francis has spent time both in the starting rotation and the bullpen for the Herd, but he has excelled as a starter. In six starts he has allowed just one earned run over the last 25 innings of work.
The positive side of the shut out: The Bisons shut out their opponent for just the fifth time this season. Conversely they have blanked 13 times.
Getting to the bullpen: The Bisons took advantage of the Scranton bull pen in the eighth to score the first runs of the game. Branden Pinder walked the first two batters – Jonathan Diaz and Ramon Santiago. Caleb Gindl’s bunt played into a force out at third for the first out but a single from Matt Hague scored Santiago from second. Luke Scott had an RBI double to score Gindl and give the Herd its 2-0 lead.
Wasted opportunity: The Bisons had a chance to add to their lead in the ninth but left the bases loaded. Reliever Jose Ramierz issued three walks – to Burns, Diaz and Santigo. But Gindl struck out swinging and Hague flew out to left to leave the bases loaded.
Against the Rail Riders: The last time the teams met, Scranton swept a three-game series at Coca-Cola Field, outscoring the Bisons, 14-4.
Roster moves: The Blue Jays activated Devon Travis off the disabled list and optioned Munenori Kawaski to the Bisons.
Pitchers of record: Francis improved to 3-0 for the Herd. Gregory Infante pitched the ninth with a strike out for his second save. Pinder (0-2) took the loss.
Team records: The Bisons are 36-39. Scranton is 43-33.
Paid attendance: 7,542
Time of game: 2:24
Up next: The series is scheduled to continue at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. The Bisons have not announced their starter as a roster move with the Toronto Blue Jays pitching staff is expected for Saturday’s games. The series concludes Sunday at 1:05 with Scott Copeland scheduled to start for the Herd. The Bisosn return home Monday for a five-game homestand.