The dormant Buffalo bats finally came alive in their last chance to do so, and Christian Lopes' three-run blast in the top of the ninth gave the Bisons enough to salvage a 6-3 win against the Pawtucket on Monday night.
Over the prior 26 innings, Buffalo had only scored three runs. In the two games prior to Monday, both losses at home to Gwinnett, the Bisons mustered only four combined hits and were held to one run in a 1-0 loss Saturday. The visitors hammered out nine hits heading into the final frame against the Red Sox but only had a pair of runs to show for it until Lopes delivered with his fourth long ball of the season.
Danny's delight: Danny Jansen continued his tear through Triple-A in his 12th game with the Bisons, almost hitting for the cycle. In his first three at-bats, the catcher homered, tripled and singled. With one out in the ninth and Buffalo trailing by one, he belted a game-tying solo shot to left. The home runs were Jansen's second and third of the Triple-A season, and he's now hitting .500 with the club (18-for-36) in his dozen games under Manager Bobby Meacham.
On the mound: Brett Oberholtzer held the Red Sox scoreless for five of his six innings on the hill, but he allowed a game-tying two-run homer in the fifth to Ryan Court that eventually dealt him a no-decision on the night. Buffalo's bats couldn't muster anything more to put their southpaw in line for the win, and Oberholtzer finished his stellar outing only walking one while fanning six and allowing six hits.
Ramirez stops the bleeding: After John Stilson allowed the go-ahead run in the seventh and surrendered three hits in 2/3 innings pitched upon relieving Oberholtzer, Meacham turned to Carlos Ramirez to halt the damage. The 6-foot-5 right-hander threw 2 1/3 innings of perfect ball, striking out one and grabbing the win after the Bisons bats woke up just in time.
Struggling with runners on: Before Lopes' go-ahead shot, the Bisons were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. A 1-for-6 mark still isn't ideal, but the "1" was the difference-maker in the game. In the other dugout, Pawtucket went a paltry 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Fields update: Roemon Fields went 0-for-3, and his average dropped from .301 to .298. He was the only qualified Bisons hitter to boast an average above .300 (Jansen doesn't have enough plate appearances), but that mark is no longer. Fields was hit by a pitch in his fourth at-bat, but he didn't log a stolen base since Lopes was the next batter and drove Fields in from first. The speedster still sits on 38 steals this season, four shy of breaking Tony Womack's team record.
Up next: Buffalo and Pawtucket play the second of a four-game series on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Joe Biagini (0-1, 3.48) is on the mound for the Bisons and Roenis Elias (1-3, 7.27) throws for the Red Sox.