BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Indianapolis Indians‘ (4-4) early pitching problems continued on Friday.
Indy gave up nine or more runs in a game for the fourth time already this season, as the Buffalo Bisons (3-2) cruised to a 11-1 victory at Coca-Cola Field. The Tribe have surrendered a staggering 44 runs in their four losses, compared to just five runs allowed in their four wins.
Alex McRae, who dodged trouble in his previous start on Sunday, got the ball for Indianapolis. This time around, he was unable to pitch his way out of jams.
The right-hander started his evening with two scoreless innings before Buffalo got on the board in the third. It was a two-out rally that powered the Bisons, as Jon Berti singled and then scored on a Dwight Smith Jr. double.
McRae trotted back out to the mound for the fourth, where Buffalo brought their big sticks. The Bisons notched four hits in the inning, highlighted by a pair of two-run homers. Jason Leblebijian and Roemon Fields were responsible for the long balls.
The Indians got a run in the top of the sixth to make it 5-1 thanks to a two singles and a Todd Cunningham sacrifice fly, but the home team responded with two more big innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, Buffalo sent McRae packing. A walk led to a RBI double from Ian Parmley, making it 6-1, before a fielding error extended the inning and forced Indy to call on their bullpen. Brett McKinney replaced McRae, but couldn’t save the righty from being charged with some unearned runs, as Parmley stole home and Berti singled to score the Bisons’ eighth run.
McRae finished with a final line of eight runs allowed (six earned) on nine hits, two walks and five strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched.
Clay Holmes, who was optioned to Indianapolis earlier in the day, took over on the hill in the seventh. He promptly gave up two hits, two walks and threw a wild pitch as the Bisons extended their lead to 11-1.
Game three of this series from upstate New York is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. on Saturday. Austin Coley (0-1, 81.00 ERA) is down as the Indians’ probable starting pitcher.
The Pittsburgh Pirates recalled right-hander Kyle Crick and selected the contract of righty Richard Rodriguez on Friday. In response, the aforementioned Holmes and lefty Josh Smoker were optioned to Indy.