In non-Adam news, Dustin Pedroia (Dust Pans!) was called up by Boston yesterday and went 1-for-3 in his major-league debut. Congrats, Dustin!
"We're with Adam" -- Devoted to Adam Stern
PAWTUCKET -- Every once in a while, one hustle play completely changes the momentum of a baseball game.
Yesterday was one of those days and, as a result, the Pawtucket Red Sox posted a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Bisons at McCoy Stadium.
After being held to just one hit by Buffalo starter Jake Dittler through four innings, everything turned in Pawtucket's favor in the bottom of the fifth.
With runners on first and second and the PawSox trailing, 2-1, right fielder Adam Stern appeared to hit into a routine 6-4-3 double play.
Buffalo shortstop Asbrudal Cabrera scooped up the hard ground ball and flipped to second baseman Jason Alfaro, who tagged second base for the force out and fired the ball to first base.
Meanwhile, Stern was racing to first.
Stern's foot touched the bag just as the ball arrived in Ramon Vazquez's glove and first base umpire Brad Cole called him safe. It turned out to be one of the key plays of the game because if he was called out, it would have ended the inning with the PawSox trailing, 2-1.
Instead, Pawtucket was able to score two runs with two outs and take a 3-2 lead.
"That was outstanding," Johnson said. "Those are the kinds of plays that I like . . . Those kinds of plays lead you to an opportunity to win. That ball was hit hard and those guys on that team can turn a double play. He was flying down the line and it turned out to be huge. The little things always add up."
Stern's hustle play came moments after Alejandro Machado came up to bat with the bases loaded and no outs. Machado hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Ron Calloway and cut the Bisons' lead to 2-1.
Corky Miller advanced to third base on Stern's fielder's choice grounder, and scored on Trent Durrington's single to left field.
Dustin Pedroia drove in Machado with a single up the middle.
"Pedroia has done an outstanding job for us," Johnson said. "His pitch selection and his discipline have been great. He's not afraid to take a pitch. He's been swinging the bat good and when he gets on base, he is a very disruptive force."
Jeff Bailey gave Pawtucket a 4-2 cushion in the bottom of the sixth inning with a leadoff home run, his 18th of the season.
After striking out three batters in the first two frames and allowing just one hit, Pawtucket starter Scott Shoemaker, who was called up from Wilmington to replace scheduled starter Jason Johnson, was reached for two runs in the third inning. Cabrera led off the inning with a single, and Einar Diaz, the No. 9 hitter, drove him in with an double.
Diaz advanced to third base on a bunt single by Franklin Gutierrez, and scored on Ben Francisco's sacrifice fly. Shoemaker settled down and got both Jason Alfaro and Kevin Kouzmanoff to ground out.
Shoemaker, and relief pitchers Phil Seibel , Craig Breslow and Jermaine Van Buren shut out the Bisons the rest of the way.
"They all pitched well and that's what you got to have," Johnson said. "When you take the offense out of the game late in the game, you have a chance to win."
Pawtucket has a day off today and will host Syracuse tomorrow at 7:05 p.m.