Stankiewicz, Solo Shots Propel Pawtucket in Opener
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Teddy Stankiewicz continued his standout debut season at the Triple-A level, three Pawtucket Red Sox cracked solo homers, and three relievers delivered strong bounce-back efforts, as the PawSox defeated the Buffalo Bisons, 4-2, in the series opener Friday night at Sahlen Field.
The PawSox (55-74) traded runs with Buffalo (66-64) through five innings but broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth and warded off the Bisons down the stretch to begin the three-game series on a winning note. Seventy-one of Pawtucket's 129 games (55%) have been decided by one or two runs. Buffalo began the night three games behind Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the International League's North Division.
Stankiewicz (W, 6-7) fired 5.2 innings with six strikeouts and allowed just one earned run (two total). In his last five starts (all in the month of August), the 25-year-old right-hander has compiled a tidy 2.03 ERA, ceding just seven earned runs in 31 innings with 33 strikeouts against only four walks. The former second-round pick lowered his ERA to 3.94.
From there, Colten Brewer retired all four batters he faced (three via strikeout), while Héctor Velázquez and Trevor Kelley (S, 12) each added a hitless inning to solidify the victory.
Cole Sturgeon (2-for-5, R, 2B, HR, RBI), Tzu-Wei Lin (2-for-3, R, HR, RBI, BB) and Rusney Castillo (2-for-4, R, HR, RBI) all connected on solo homers to support the strong pitching performances.
In the first game of his rehab assignment, Michael Chavis played five innings at first base and went 0-for-3 out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup.
Buffalo starter Conor Fisk (L, 5-7) allowed three runs in 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts.
Lin started the scoring in the top of the second inning when he laced a solo homer inside the right-field foul pole for his third long ball of the season. Buffalo, though, countered in the bottom of the second on an RBI double from Santiago Espinal - the prospect traded by the Red Sox last June for eventual World Series MVP Steve Pearce.
In the fifth, Sturgeon blasted a two-out solo shot to center to hand Pawtucket a one-run lead again, 2-1. But a Jonathan Davis RBI single in the next half-inning tied the game, 2-2.
The next inning, Castillo socked a solo big fly to center - his 17th homer of the season - and Gorkys Hernández tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the seventh to extend Pawtucket's lead to 4-2.
The PawSox continue the series in Buffalo on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Pawtucket right-hander Erasmo Ramírez (4-8, 4.75) is scheduled to oppose Bisons righty T.J. Zeuch, who threw a no-hitter earlier this week. Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 6:35 p.m.
Following the seven-game road trip through Scranton and Buffalo, the PawSox return home for a nine-game homestand August 26th through September 2nd (Monday-Monday) against the Yankees' and Phillies' Triple-A affiliates.
On August 27 (Tuesday), the PawSox will again play as the popular Osos Polares de Pawtucket. Then on August 29 (Thursday), the PawSox will host Team Poster and Autograph Night. The first 5,000 fans entering the stadium will receive a full-color PawSox Team Poster suitable for framing. From 5-6 PM before the game, fans will also be allowed on the field for pictures and autographs with their favorite players. On August 30 (Friday), the PawSox will take the field as the Pawtucket Fightin' Quahogs in a name change that pays homage to one of Rhode Island's most famous cuisines. The PawSox will wear caps and jerseys featuring the Fightin' Quahogs logo for the second game of that Friday doubleheader. On August 31 (Saturday), fans can enjoy post-game fireworks set to music from Motown. On September 1 (Sunday), fans can play catch on the field and then run the bases post-game on a Sunday FunDay.
During the homestretch, the PawSox will admit for free children 16 and under. They'll also let "kids run the show" at each game. Parents also have the option to partake of a new "End of Summer Family Bargain" in which they each receive a General Admission ticket, $2 in loaded value (good for food, beverage, or merchandise), and a PawSox cap, all for $12 (a $26 value).
Good tickets are available, and fans can visit the McCoy Stadium box office, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and during all home games. Fans can also call (401) 724-7300 or log on to PawSox.com for tickets.
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