For the third straight game of a four-game set against the Indianapolis Indians, a Buffalo Bisons' starter was unable to get past four innings.
Miguel Batista took the loss Tuesday after giving up eight runs in three innings before Dave Bush went four innings in defeat Wednesday, surrendering nine runs.
But Thursday, the Herd was able to overcome Ricky Romero's six walks and 86 pitches in 3 2/3 innings in the form of timely hits and efficient work by the bullpen. Luis Jimenez's seventh-inning RBI triple proved to be the difference in a 6-4 win at Victory Field, setting up a chance for a series split Friday.
With the score tied at four, Anthony Gose led off the seventh frame with a walk. That set up Jimenez's one-out triple to the center field wall that scored Gose from first. Mauro Gomez hit a bloop single to shallow right that fell between three Indians the next at-bat to make it 6-4, proving to be all the run support the Bisons' bullpen needed.
Despite throwing 44 strikes to 42 balls, Romero allowed just three runs, two earned, and four hits. However, it was a high pitch count that forced the bullpen into extended work again.
Romero threw 37 pitches in a second inning in which three runs scored, though that was aided by a pair of Eugenio Velez errors at second. In his last full inning of work in the third, Romero got two quick outs before throwing 10 consecutive balls en route to walking three straight batters before getting out of the inning without any damage.
In relief of Romero, the bullpen tossed 5 1/3 innings of four-hit, one-run ball, to secure the victory. Buddy Carlyle picked up the win, going 2 1/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits and four strikeouts. Neil Wagner picked up the save after giving up back-to-back singles to start the ninth.
The Bisons opened the scoring with two runs in the first, but found themselves down a run after the second.
Mike McCoy almost single-handedly tied the game in the third after a leadoff walk. The ball did not enter play before the third baseman found his way home. He stole second and catcher Tony Sanchez's throwing error on McCoy's steal of third allowed him to score.
Velez set aside his rare fielding errors and tied the game at four in the sixth with a leadoff solo shot to right-center.
BISONS NOTES: Baseball's batting leader Jim Negrych, who is hitting .414, had the day off…Moises Sierra stole his third base of the season in the first…McCoy's steals in the third were his seventh and eighth of the year…Jimenez's triple was his second of the season, and he was the only player to Bison to record multiple hits…Wagner is now 11 of 11 in save chances…Velez's blast was his fifth home run.