The Toronto Blue Jays’ No. 1 pitching prospect Nate Pearson earned his first career victory with Buffalo on Friday night as the Bisons defeated host Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 8-7.
Pearson delivered a career-high 104 pitches in five innings to earn the win despite struggling.
Pearson allowed four runs and seven hits and left the mound with a 4-4 tie.
In the top of the sixth, Richard Urena drew a bases-loaded walk to score Forrest Wall and give the Bisons a 5-4 lead, putting Pearson in line for the win.
Andy Burns hit a solo home run, his 17th of the season, in the seventh.
Urena, who belted a three-run home run in the top of the fifth, drove in his fifth run of the game in the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly to score Socrates Brito, who had tripled to score Anthony Alford, and Buffalo led 8-4.
Kyle Higashioka belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to draw Scranton closer, but Jackson McClelland got the final out to secure the victory.
The Bisons opened the scoring in the first inning on Beau Taylor’s RBI single.
Mandy Alvarez had a double and two RBIs for the RailRiders and Trey Amburgey hit his 22nd home run of the season with a shot off Pearson in the second inning.
The Bisons are three games behind Scranton for the International League North Division lead, but can’t advance to the playoffs because of tie-breakers.
Pearson reached 100 innings thrown in a season for the first time in his pro career. He pitched 101.2 innings.
He threw at three different levels of minor league ball this season, spending the majority of the time with Double-A New Hampshire.
His 1-4 record in New Hampshire was not indicative of his 16 starts. Pearson pitched 62.2 innings, allowing 18 runs and striking out 69. Opposing batters hit just .186 against him.
Across all three levels this season, Pearson recorded a 2.30 ERA, 119 strikeouts and allowed 63 hits. He walked 27 batters.
Selected in the first round of the 2017 MLB draft, Pearson remains on track to join the Blue Jays in the near future.