Enmanuel Valdez was a single shy of the cycle and drove in four runs on Sunday to lead the Worcester Red Sox to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Buffalo Bisons.
The Herd (66-62) fell a ½ game behind the Woo Sox (67-22) and dropped into sixth place in the International League East Division. Buffalo begins a six-game series with Gwinnett (61-67) on Tuesday at 6:05 p.m.
The Bisons took a 2-0 lead in the first inning off Worcester starting pitcher Bryan Mata. Vinny Capra led off with a single and Spencer Horwitz walked. After Gabriel Moreno lined into a double play, erasing Capra at second, Zack Collins drew a walk. Rafael Lantigua doubled to left to score Horwitz and Collins scored when LJ Talley reached on a fielder’s choice. Lantigua was tagged out at third after the run scored.
Mata (1-0) settled down after that and went six innings, allowing four hits and three walks. He struck out five.
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The Woo Sox tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Abraham Almonte drew a walk off Bisons reliver Bowden Francis and Valdez doubled home Almonte then stole third. With one out, Valdez scored on Ryan Fitzgerald’s sacrifice fly to knot the score at 2.
Worcester took the lead for good in the sixth when Almonte walked and scored on Valdez’s triple to right field. Valdez added a two-run home run in the eighth to seal the victory. He knocked in Almonte, who reached on his third walk of the game.
The Woo Sox had just five hits in the game. Almonte and Cam Cannon each added singles.
Hayden Juenger (3-1) took the loss for the Bisons. He allowed one earned run on one hit and one walk over two innings. He struck out three.
Capra and Lantigua each had two hits for the Bisons, who collected five in the game. Trevor Schwecke added a single.