(bisons.com) - Two big innings early on propelled Indianapolis to a six-run lead after the third inning.
The Bisons did not have the offensive power this time around at Coca-Cola Field as they fell to the Indians 7-3 on a rainy Thursday night.
Starting pitcher Justin Germano got hit early and often, lasting just three innings and giving up six runs on six hits.
The right-hander got into trouble right off the bat, giving up two home runs in the first five batters.
"He just has to be perfect," Bisons manager Marty Brown said after the game. "He pitched in better today the second time through (the batting order), but I think locating all of his pitches, allowing him to get ahead in the count. That's what's been a problem with him. Anytime we've struggled with our rotation, that's what's been the problem."
Indy continued with three straight hits from the meat of their order to load the bases in the third inning. Germano hit Brett Carroll on the arm, scoring Presley from third. Tony Sanchez hit a line drive to center field, scoring Pie from third and Sierra's throw from center bounced away from Bisons catcher Josh Thole, allowing the runners to advance to second and third.
Jerry Sands hit a 2-RBI single to center and the Indians led 7-1 with just one out in the top of the third.
Thole hit a solo home run, his fifth of the year, to lead off the sixth. That cut the Indianapolis lead to four, 7-3. The Bisons threated to score more with runners on first and second and two outs, but could not get a timely hit when it needed one.
"You just try to chip away and put zeroes on the board defensively," Thole said. "It was early. With our offense we have plenty of time to gain some ground and get back in the ball game."
Buffalo was not able to string together enough hits in a row against the Indians starting pitcher Brandon Cumpton. Cumpton went five innings giving up just four hits while striking out four.
"When you're down 7-0 against a pitcher like him, you take the mistakes that he gives you," Brown said. "He didn't make that many. It's a tall order when you're facing a pitching staff like they have."
Bisons' relievers Buddy Carlyle and Michael Schwimer each got two innings of work, allowing a combined one hit, two walks and four strikeouts. Reliever Mickey Storey closed out the game for the Herd, allowing no runs and striking out two.
Left fielder Ricardo Nanita hit a huge solo home run that hit the top of the Bully Hill awning in right field in his Bisons debut.