Gee wins 12th, Bisons win 8-straight
Friday wasn’t a record-breaking night for Dillon Gee, but it was still a good night for the righty and the Bisons.
Buffalo won their eighth straight game and Gee improved to 12-7 on the season with a 9-4 victory over the Red Sox from McCoy Stadium. Coupled with a Louisville loss in Columbus and the Herd is now just three games out of the wild card spot.
The Bats had a half-game lead over the Clippers heading into Friday’s action. Columbus pulled back into the top spot in the IL West division with a 12-4 victory of their own.
Gee had a chance at team history against the PawSox, but his inevitable date with the Bisons record books will have to wait one more start. Five strikeouts shy of the team’s single-season record, Gee fanned four in five innings of work. He now has an International League-best 136 punchouts, one shy of the Bisons modern era record set of 137 in 1990 by Vicente Palacios.
Still, Gee was good enough to earn his 12th win of the season. That ties him with Durham’s Jeremy Hellickson and Richard De Los Santos for the league lead. It’s the most wins in a season by a Bisons pitcher since Jeremy Guthrie was 12-10 in 2005.
Friday’s game was a story of the big innings that did, and didn’t, happen. The Bisons scored four runs in the third inning as Nick Evans plated a run and Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a three-run home run. Pawtucket responded with three more in the bottom of the third off Gee to make it 4-3.
The Bisons then batted around in the fourth to put three more runs on the board. Lucas Duda singled home two and Evans doubled home Justin Turner for the 7-3 edge.
That was the score in the seventh when Pawtucket loaded the bases with nobody out against the Bisons bullpen. Mike O’Connor slammed the door shut on the opportunity by striking out Niuman Romero and Lars Anderson before giving way to Sean Green. The side-winding righty finished the job by striking out Yamaico Navarro to end the threat.
Duda provided the extra insurance for the Herd with a two-run home run in the eighth. The Triple-A rookie now has 16 blasts in only 51 games this year.
BISONS NOTES: Lucas Duda has hit in 10 straight games. He has averaged .395 (15-38) with three home runs and 12RBI over the stretch…The Bisons pitching staff has not allowed a home run in its last 121.1 innings of work. That stretch goes all the way back to July 29 in Columbus…The Mets announced Friday night that they have selected the contract of Bisons starter Pat Misch. New York has optioned Raul Valdes and Ryota Igarashi to the Herd.