Pawtucket erased a four-run Buffalo lead in the eighth, but a Fernando Perez triple and Mike Nickeas sacrifice fly reclaimed the lead for a 8-7 Bisons win Monday night at Coca-Cola Field.
“Fernando did a good job. He ambushed (reliever Royce Ring) and hit a triple into the gap,” Nickeas said. “He’s a new addition to our team, so it’s great for him that he’s contributing for us. I was looking to drive something in the air if it was in.”
Starter Miguel Batista complimented his team’s ability to come back for the win after stopping a three-game losing streak.
“We wanted to create that environment,” Batista said. “A lot of young guys don’t understand that winning is a habit. It is an attitude that you need to take out there. You just don’t go out there to play. You go out there to win.”
A day after blowing a save, Dale Thayer held on for his 11th of the year after a leadoff single by Ronald Bermudez.
Manager Tim Teufel said he had no reservations bringing Thayer right back to close a game.
“That’s his role,” Teufel said. “Once we took the lead, it was a signal to the bench to get him ready.
“He pitched well enough to get us the win,” Teufel added.
After a Nate Spears leadoff home run, Batista struck out nine over six innings. The righty, 40, allowed two runs on three hits with two walks.
“Early on he was a little slow to quick,” said Nickeas, the catcher. “His tempo got much better as the game improved. He’s still getting back into it, especially in a starting role.”
Fellow major league veteran Kevin Millwood left his start after five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits.
Jason Botts quickly took back the lead with a two-run double in the first. Luis Figueroa later broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth, scoring Josh Satin and Jesus Felician with a single.
Satin added to the lead in the fifth, when his single brought Botts home from second. Valentino Pascucci gave Buffalo’s bullpen a 7-3 cushion on a two-run home run just out of the reach of a jumping center fielder Bermudez.
However Pawtucket charged back against Gustavo Chacin, with Hector Luna’s three-run homer tying the game after Daniel Nava scored on a wild pitch.
Brian Sweeney, who earned the win, replaced Chacin in the eighth, striking out the side to preserve a 7-7 tie.
Game Notes: Millwood brought 158 career major league wins to Batista’s 99 into Monday’s game… Chacin made his second appearance for Buffalo since joining the team July 18… Pascucci leads the Herd with 70 RBIs and 15 homers.