Time is running out on the Buffalo Bisons' chase in the International League North Division.
In the opener of their final homestand of the season, the Bisons suffered a 4-2 loss to the last-place Pawtucket Red Sox Friday night in Sahlen Field. Meanwhile, the news was equally bad out of town as both teams they're chasing continued to roll.
The Buffalo loss dropped the Bisons four games behind first-place Scranton with 10 games left. The RailRiders wiped out an early 3-0 deficit and crushed Lehigh Valley, 11-4, for their third straight win. Meanwhile, Syracuse stayed within 1 1/2 games by pulling away to beat Rochester, 5-1, for its ninth straight.
Buffalo starter Conor Fisk (5-7) struck out eight batters over 5 2/3 innings but was again bedeviled by the home run ball as the Red Sox touched him for three solo shots. Fisk has given up 20 homers this year, the most on the Buffalo staff.
Tzu-Wei Lin opened the scoring in the second with a drive just inside the right-field foul pole, Cole Sturgeon's solo shot put the visitors into a 2-1 lead in the fifth and right fielder Rusney Castillo's long drive to deep right-center with one out in the sixth snapped a 2-2 tie.
Pawtucket won the game despite 14 strikeouts. The PawSox are 33-35 on the road but just 22-39 at home this year in McCoy Stadium.
The Bisons got their runs in the second on Santiago Espinal's RBI double and in the fifth on Jonathan Davis' RBI single.
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The seven-game homestand continues Saturday night at 6 (CW 23, Radio 1520 AM) as Buffalo right-hander T.J. Zeuch (4-2) makes his first start since tossing his no-hitter Monday in Rochester. The Bisons honored Zeuch's feat with a brief video and on-field introduction after the first inning Friday night, and he got a standing ovation from many of the fans in the 100 level of the ballpark.
Nate Pearson, Toronto's No. 1 pitching prospect, is scheduled to make his only home start of the season in Sunday's series finale at 1 p.m. Pearson tossed seven shutout innings in his Triple-A debut Tuesday in Rochester.
The Bisons sold 13,724 tickets for their final Friday night home game of the season. It's the third time in the last four home dates they've cracked 13,000.
Story topics: Buffalo Bisons