By Mike Harrington
Closer Neil Wagner stayed perfect in 11 save opportunities this season by getting the final two outs with runners at second and third as the Buffalo Bisons held off the Indianapolis Indians, 6-4, today in an 11 a.m. start at Victory Field.
In the Indy ninth, Wagner gave up singles to Alex Presley and Josh Harrison before striking out Matt Hague. The runners then executed a double steal, putting both in scoring position. But Wagner induced a fly ball to right by Jared Goedert and got Brett Carroll on a liner to Ryan Langerhans in left to end the game.
Wagner combined with Buddy Carlyle (3-0) and Jeremy Jeffress on 5 1/3 innings of strong relief work after another struggling start from Ricky Romero. The relievers allowed one run on four hits, struck out six and walked one.
Romero, meanwhile, allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in 3 2/3 innings. But he walked six, struck out just one and threw only 44 of his 86 pitches for strikes. He has a 9.82 ERA in two starts with Buffalo thus far since returning from Toronto to continue to work on his erratic mechanics.
The Bisons won the game with a two-run seventh to snap a 4-4 tie. Luis Jimenez tripled to deep center to score Anthony Gose and then came home on a Mauro Gomez single. Buffalo tied the game in the sixth on Eugenio Velez's solo home run.
Romero was victimized by two errors in Indy's three-run second and left men at second and third. He walked three straight in the third but left the bases loaded in that frame before getting pulled with two out in the fourth and runners at the corners. Carlyle struck out Hague to end that inning.
Indy had scored 24 runs in winning the first two games of the series but was just 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position Thursday and left 11 men on base.
The teams complete their four-game series Friday at 7:15. The Bisons open an eight-game homestand at Coca-Cola Field against Charlotte Saturday night at 7.