One Last Homer for Vladdy as Bisons Fall 4-2
A near sell-out crowd came to Coca-Cola Field Monday for one last night of Bisons Baseball before the end of the season... and to have Vladimir Guerrero Jr. bring them to their feet one last time.
Vladdy hit a two-run home run in the first inning, but that was all the scoring for Buffalo in the final home game of 2018 as the Bisons fell to the PawSox, 4-2, in front of 16,314 on Fan Appreciation Night.
With the loss, the Bisons close out the home portion of the 2018 season with a 33-31 record at Coca-Cola Field, though the records will show their home record as 33-34 because of three loses where the Herd was the 'home' team in visiting ballparks.
With yet another huge crowd just settling in for the finale, Guerrero Jr. brought them back on their feet. With Dwight Smith Jr. on first base, Vladdy demolished a 2-0 hanging curveball to deep left-centerfield for his sixth home run at Triple-A.
All six of those home runs have come at Coca-Cola Field. Baseball's top prospect averaged .397 in 16 games in Buffalo.
Video: Guerrero Jr. cracks two-run shot for Bisons
But that was all the offense the Bisons could muster in the defeat. PawSox starter William Cuevas struck out 10 over seven innings of work and it wasn't until the eighth that the Bisons put more than two runners on base in the same frame. Singles from Smith Jr. and Anthony Alford went for naught when Dalton Pompey grounded out to second to end the inning.
Pawtucket took the lead for good in the sixth inning with a two-run rally. Mike Miller and Kyle Wren hit back-to-back RBI-singles with the bases loaded to take a 3-2 advantage. Alford limited the damage on Wren's single by throwing out Josh Ockimey trying to score on the play.
Zach Stewart made the spot start as scheduled starter Murphy Smith was promoted to Toronto for his big league debut. The righty allowed a run in three innings of work. Newcomers Juliandry Higuera and Andrew Case each worked in relief after being called up to Herd. In his first game above A-ball, Higuera threw two shutout innings before he ran into trouble in the sixth and took the loss.
The Bisons will close out the season with eight games in seven days starting with Tuesday's doubleheader in Rochester. At 61-69, they would have to win out to avoid a losing record on the season.
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