In a matchup of Triple-A all-stars, Matt Fox emerged over Chris Schwinden behind a pair of home runs as the PawSox won the opener of a four-game series, 4-2, Friday night at Coca-Cola Field.
Schwinden left the game after 4 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits, including a two-run homer by Ryan Lavarnway and a solo shot by Ronald Bermudez.
“Schwinden came out, gave us his best effort,” manager Tim Teufel said. “I would think he would like to hit his locations just a little bit better than he did tonight. He was just kind of a little bit flat. It was one of those nights. He’s been pitching great for us all year.”
After his first-inning shot, Lavarnway added a third RBI on a double, scoring Che-Hsuan Lin.
“It really didn’t go out the way we planned, or I planned,” Schwinden said. “I just really didn’t get after it today, executed on some, but not all of them. I wish I could take some of those back, but can’t.”
Schwinden (6-5) struck out seven, including four looking, but walked four.
Luis Hernandez smacked his fifth homer of the season a solo shot in the third, his second in as many games.
Valentino Pascucci drove in his team-best 65th run of the season on a double in the sixth inning, cutting the lead to 4-2. The Bisons threatened to tie with Josh Satin at the plate, but Fox caught Pascucci trying to steal third to end the inning.
Fox (6-4) allowed two earned runs over six complete innings, striking out six to two walks.
Reliever Scott Atchison, clinging to the two-run lead, left the bases loaded with two outs for Michael Bowden in the eighth after Satin’s first Triple-A hit, an infield single.
Luis Hernandez worked a full count, but Bowden escaped with a hard fly out to center fielder Lin.
“We had bases loaded with the perfect guy up in Hernandez, who’s been driving in all kinds of runs,” Teufel said. “He squared it up and hit it right to the center fielder. That’s the way baseball is sometimes.”
Jesus Feliciano, who went 2-for-3, reached second on a single and a passed ball before Bowden struck out Mike Nickeas, Fernando Perez and Ruben Tejada, the latter two looking.
Brian Sweeney threw 2 1/3 hitless innings, including a stretch where he struck out five of six batters. Justin Hampson pitched the remainder of the game, retiring eight in order.
“They came in; they did their job,” Schwinden said. “You can’t ask more from those guys.
Game Notes: Satin made his Triple-A debut, starting at third base after being called up from Double-A Binghamton before the game… Pawtucket leads the season series over Buffalo, 7-2… Hernandez ranks second to Pascucci with 50 RBIs.