Posted by Mack Ade at 12:00 PM
Mid-June saw a horrific stretch where the Herd dropped 12 of 13, making a late-season playoff run seem far-fetched at best. But lately, the Bisons have seen their fortunes turn - with stellar pitching, timely hitting, and inspired efforts on the field.
Whatever it is, it's working.
Friday was the latest chapter in the Herd's recent run back into playoff contention, with the Bisons using a perfect blend of dominant pitching and timely hitting to earn an 8-2 victory in Pawtucket. The win - the 6th consecutive for the Herd - moves Buffalo to 48-45 on the season.
The stellar showing Friday was marked by a dominating performance by starting pitcher Jeurys Familia, who made quick work of the PawSox throughout the night - going 6.1 innings, allowing no runs on five hits. Familia struck out six and only issued one walk, extending a stretch where he has displayed strong command of his pitches.
Familia allowed only one extra-base hit on the evening, a leadoff double to Lars Anderson in the 4th, and didn't give up multiple hits in any inning. The strong outing from the right-hander allowed Herd sluggers plenty of leeway on the night.
It took a while, but the Bisons bats provided plenty of offense to make sure that Familia would get credit for his night's work. After being shut out by PawSox starter Billy Buckner for the first four innings, the Bisons got going with a two-run effort in the 5th. Rob Johnson drew a walk with two outs, and consistent left fielder Fred Lewis followed with a blast to right field that made the score 2-0 Buffalo.
And the Bisons weren't done. The Herd was at it again in the 6th, and again with two outs nonetheless. After Buckner retired the first two Buffalo batters, the Bisons came through with an entertaining walk-homer-walk-homer pattern. Matt Den Dekker walked, and then Josh Satin homered to make the score 4-0 Buffalo. Not to be outdone, Valentino Pascucci walked, and then Matt Tuiasosopo - you guessed it - homered.
Just like that, the Herd had a commanding 6-0 lead that it would not relinquish, and Familia had plenty of room for error. He wouldn't need it.
The division foes are at it again Saturday night, with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m.
Bisons Notes: Lewis and Satin had multi-hit-efforts for the Herd. Lewis had two homers...The Bisons saw the rare outing where they scored more runs than they had hits, with 8 runs on just 6 hits. Pawtucket actually out-hit Buffalo, 9-6...With the win, Familia moves to 7-5 on the season.