Sloppy fielding can cause plenty of headaches for a ball club.
For the Bisons, the struggles in the field began quickly Saturday. First to the plate, Pawtucket leadoff man Cody Ross hit a routine ground ball to Buffalo third baseman Matt Tuiasosopo, who looked well-positioned to make the throw to first for the quick out.
But it was not meant to be. Tuiasosopo failed to field the ball cleanly, and Ross easily made it to first base. With that, the trend was set for the evening, and the Bisons went on to commit four errors on the game, compared to none by Pawtucket. The error-free outing helped Pawtucket notch an 8-5 victory over the Herd, and the PawSox will go for a sweep of the four-game set on Sunday.
"It just seems like nothing's going right for us right now," Bisons first baseman Josh Satin said. "The last two days, we haven't hit, and we've pitched well, (but) we can't get any runs for them. Today, we had a breakdown in the field."
With the Bisons holding a 5-3 lead in the top of the 6th, Pawtucket blew the game open with a five-run burst, aided by untimely fielding. Nate Spears led off the inning with a double, and things only progressed from there.
With runners on first and second and one out, Pawtucket's Ryan Kalish hit a ground ball to Buffalo second baseman Brad Emaus. In an attempt to get the out at second, Emaus misplayed the exchange with shortstop Ronny Cedeno. The miscue loaded the bases, and an ensuing wild pitch scored a run.
Next up, Ryan Lavarnway ripped an RBI double that scored two more. The PawSox never looked back, and the Pawtucket bullpen held Buffalo scoreless for the rest of the night.
"A couple (errors) in that one inning, and we let up five runs, which killed us," Satin said. "We just couldn't get anything going after the starter got out."
The outcome was particularly disappointing when considering the Bisons appeared to break free of recent offensive struggles. After scoring just three runs in the first two games of the series, the Herd scored a run in the first and exploded for four in the bottom of the 4th.
But after the 6th-inning struggles, the Bisons were forced to come from behind. In the bottom of the 8th, with a runner on first and two outs, the Herd remained down 8-5 and in need of some magic.
Satin was at the plate, and he launched a high line drive to right field that had potential all the way. But unfortunately for Satin and the Herd, the ball came down just before reaching the wall, and Kroeger made the catch to end the inning.
When Satin saw the result, he threw his helmet down in disgust. Another near-miss, another solid play that produced an unwanted result.
And so goes the series for the Herd. Now down 3-0 in the set, all Buffalo can do is look to avoid the sweep Sunday afternoon. The PawSox keep crawling further and further ahead in the division race, and the ever-valuable head-to-head matchups are at a premium.
"These last three games have been disappointing," Satin said. "We're playing the team that's ahead of us, so winning these games will be big, as far as in the standings. And losing them just kind of cripples us a little bit."
Bisons Notes: Justin Hampson had a solid outing for the Herd, pitching the final three frames and allowing just one hit...Veteran Mark Prior picked up the save for the PawSox. The save is believed to be the first of Prior's professional baseball career...Corey Wimberly and Fred Lewis had multi-hit games for the Herd Saturday.
from team press release