Pawtucket, RI) – Late home runs by Alex Hassan and Dan Butler tied the score then gave Pawtucket the lead while starter Steven Wright tossed eight strong inning for a third straight outing as the PawSox came from behind to top the Buffalo Bisons, 4-3, Friday night in front of 5,424 fans at McCoy Stadium in the second of a four-game series.
Both Shane Victorino (hamstring/back) and Will Middlebrooks (index finger/wrist) started for the PawSox to continue their respective Major League injury rehab assignments. Middlebrooks played the entire game at third base and batted 0-for-2 with a deep sacrifice fly and a hit-by-pitch while Victorino played six innings in right field and went 1-for-4 with a double.
The PawSox twice trailed by two runs, but rallied to score the final three runs in the contest including the long balls by Hassan (6) and Butler (4). Pawtucket (53-48) has won three straight and seven of nine overall to move five games above .500 for the first time since May 19th.
Hassan’s shot against Buffalo starter Esmil Rogers came with one out in the sixth and was his fourth straight game with a home run. Butler greeted reliever Steve Delabar (0-2) in the seventh with a fly ball that sailed just inside the foul pole in left to plate the final run of the night.
Tempers flared after Rogers struck out Corey Brown for the final out in the sixth, as Brown and Rogers exchanged words between home plate and the first-base dugout. Each bench and bullpen emptied, but no punches were thrown and no players were ejected.
Wright (5-1) allowed two runs on two hits in the first, then settled down and permitted only one more run and two more hits over his next seven innings of work. The reigning IL Pitcher of the Week walked two and fanned a pair, while retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.
All-Star closer Tommy Layne recorded a double play groundball to erase a leadoff error in the ninth, then struck out Brad Glenn to end the game and record his ninth save in as many opportunities.