BUFFALO, N.Y. --( As the International League's hottest team, Buffalo spotted Pawtucket a three-run head start before rallying for a ninth straight victory Tuesday, beating the PawSox, 5-3, in the opener of their four-game series.

Pawtucket's Jackie Bradley Jr. led off the game with an infield single, leading to a two-base throwing error by Buffalo shortstop Lance Zawadzki. Drew Sutton picked him up with an RBI grounder, before Justin Henry singled and Bryce Brentz homered off Edgar Gonzalez.

But Gonzalez and reliever Buddy Carlyle (W, 1-0) kept the PawSox off the scoreboard the next six innings. In the interim, Buffalo took the lead with a pair of two-run innings.

The IL's highest-scoring team, the Bisons produced four straight hits to start the 4th against reliever Jeremy Kehrt (LP, 0-1). Mauro Gomez tripled and scored on Luis Jimenez's double. Jimenez then came home on a single by Josh Thole to cut the Pawtucket lead to 3-2.

In the 7th, Kehrt allowed a double by Jim Negrych, the league's batting leader who delivered his 22nd hit in 44 official at-bats. After issuing a walk, Kehrt gave way to Pedro Beato, who surrendered a two-run double by Jimenez. Jimenez entered the contest with 17 RBI, tied for second in the league.

Former PawSox lefty Juan Perez stranded two in the top of the 8th innings, as Pawtucket left 12 men on overall . Thole then gave the Bisons insurance with his first home run, a towering drive off Beato onto the right-field picnic decks.

Pawtucket starter Rubby De La Rosa completed 3.0 scoreless innings in his best outing of the season, while Bradley Jr. went 2-for-3 with two walks. He's reached safely in eight of his last 10 plate appearances, with five hits and three walks.

The Sox and Bisons are scheduled to play the second game of their four-day series Wednesday at 6:05 p.m., with right-hander Charlie Haeger (0-0, 0.00) expected to make his second start for Pawtucket.