A solo home run from Raffy Lopez and a solid performance cobbled together from the pitching staff allowed the Buffalo Bisons to close out their homestand with a 2-1 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox on Sunday afternoon.
Cesar Valdez was called up by the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night leaving the Herd without a starter. Jeff Beliveau took the ball to open the game, making the spot start. He threw three scoreless innings.
While Leonel Campos gave up a solo home run in the fourth, Matt Dermody and Murphy Smith kept the PawSox off the board the rest of the way. Dermody (4-0) picked up the win while Smith was credited with his third save.
"Guys get a chance to pitch. They get a chance to show what they can do," manager Bobby Meacham said about the pitching staff. "I think it's interesting to see how when guys get a shot (starting) they take advantage of it and keep rolling."
Offensively, the Bisons tied the game in the fourth when Ian Parmley scored from first on a two-out double from Jonathan Diaz. Lopez then hit his fifth home run in 13 games with the Herd for a 2-1 lead in the sixth.
Stranded on third: Bisons left runners on third base in the first, second and fifth innings. Christian Lopes led off the first with a triple, but stayed there for two short pop-up foul balls and a strike out looking. In the second, Shane Opitz drew a two-out hit-by-pitch, stole second and third, but was left when Roemon Fields grounded out to the pitcher. In the fifth, Lopes made it to third with no outs, but Dwight Smith Jr. was caught stealing and two strike outs again left Lopes hanging at third.
Spot start: Beliveau last started a game on July 25, 2009 when he was in his second year of pro ball with the Chicago Cubs organization. He pitched three no-hit innings with one walk and two strike outs.
"Right away you could tell he has his fastball," said catcher Lopez. "He already has a pretty sneaky fastball at 90-plus miles per hour and he was able to locate that well and we were able to go up with in the zone as well. Then he located his cureball really well. His cutter, he threw a couple good ones. He's been throwing his change-up a lot more, so I think that just gets him off his fastball a little bit."
Boston MLB Rehab: Pablo Sandoval started at third base and played the position through seven innings. In his three at-bats he flew out to center, grounded out to short and popped up to short.
Brock Holt homered in the fourth as the outfielder works his way back from vertigo. That solo shot off reliever Leonel Campos put the PawSox up 1-0.
Roster moves: Connor Eller joined the Herd on Sunday after being promoted from Class-A Dunedin where he appeared in nine games, posting a 1-0 record with a 1.10 earned run average while holding opponents to a .151 average against. Eller was a 2016 draft pick of the Blue Jays in the 22nd round. Meanwhile outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. was activated after being optioned by the Blue Jays.
Counting the stands: Official paid attendance was 6,529 and it was a healthy turnout for the final day of Blue Jays weekend. There was a light drizzle during the game which kicks the team's "No Rain Guarantee" for the homestand into gear. Fans with tickets for Sunday's game can exchange them at the Coca-Cola Field box office for two tickets to either the May 30 or May 31st game.
Up next: Bisons have a scheduled off day on Monday. They start a seven-game road trip on Tuesday in Gwinnett, playing a three-game series with the Braves before traveling to Charlotte for a four-games series with the Knights starting Friday. The Bisons return to Coca-Cola Field on Tuesday, May 30.