Great pitching, check! Clutch hitting, check! Throw in great weather and a great crowd and it was a perfect start to the baseball season in Downtown Buffalo.
R.A. Dickey tossed a complete game and Chris Carter drove in four as the Bisons defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox, 8-2, on a gorgeous Wednesday afternoon in front of 13,323 Opening Day fans.
Carter finished the game a home run away from the cycle, with four hits, two doubles and a triple. He drove in four, scored three times and proved to be too much for his former teammates to handle.
Dickey, meanwhile, scattered nine hits and struck out five to pick up his first win as a Bison. He was in complete control of his knuckleball, tossing 82 of his 112 pitches for strikes
With the solid mound work behind them, the Bisons' offense went to work in the bottom of the second inning. Ike Davis and Mike Hessman led of the frame with singles and both scored when Carter tripled inside the first base bag. Two batters later, Russ Adams singled home the Bisons' designated hitter for the 3-1 lead.
After Pawtucket closed to 3-2, the Bisons blew the game open with a four-run sixth. Fernando Martinez started the rally with a double and Hessman followed Ike Davis's walk with an RBI-single. Carter then doubled home two more before scoring on Mike Cervenak's RBI-ground out.
Carter added even more insurance in the eighth inning when he doubled again and scored on Adam's sac fly.
BISONS NOTES: Buffalo outhit Pawtucket 13-9...Mike Hessman finished the game 3-4 with a double and two runs scored...The Bisons are now 3-1 against Pawtucket in home openers and 4-0 when their Home Opener falls on April 14. The first ever game at Coca-Cola Field was played on April 14, 1988 - a 1-0 win over Denver.