(bisons.com)-The Bisons scored three runs in the eighth inning, but it was not enough to complete the comeback Friday night.
Indianapolis won its second game in a row against the Herd, 6-5.
Bisons starting pitcher Claudio Vargas sailed through the first three innings, but allowed a two-run home run in the fourth to Matt Hague.
The right-hander pitched into the sixth before running into trouble again. He walked three batters and gave up two key hits in the inning, which the Indians scored four runs to jump out to a 6-2 lead.
Vargas was handed the loss on the night, his fourth of the season. He threw 5.1 innings while being credited with six runs on just four hits. He also struck out four batters on the evening.
"He walked Presley on four pitches," manager Marty Brown said of Vargas' sixth inning struggle. "He's not trying to do that, he just all of a sudden lost command. I don't know if his focused was lost because we didn't score or what happened."
In the bottom of the eighth inning after three straight walks by the Indians, Buffalo got one run back to cut the lead to three.
Josh Thole pinch-hit for catcher Mike Nickeas. With two-runners on base, Thole hit a broken-bat single right over second base, scoring Andy LaRoche and Eugenio Velez to make the score 6-5 Indians going into the ninth.
"We came up a little short, but I was proud of our guys," Brown said. "This Indy club they've got some good arms. Right now, they're feeling real good about themselves and I was proud of the way our guys battle to get something going in (the eighth) inning."
Indians first basemen Matt Hague gave the Indians a 3-2 lead with one out in the sixth when he hit a double down the left field line, scoring Alex Presley from third. Vargas walked the next batter Jared Goedert and Jerry Sands hit a single to right to load the bases. Vargas walked Jeff Larish with the bases loaded in the next at-bat, and that was it for the righty.
"When something happens and we need a shut-down inning, we struggle at that," Brown said. "It's a little bit about focus and thinking about the pitch."
Despite coming up short, Brown was happy with the effort of his first-place team.
"I think during that inning it shows a little bit of character of what we're made of offensively," he said." "... This game is built on momentum, we've talked about it. It stems from the pitching staff. Shut down innings are huge. It starts with pitch one. I think we're learning a lot about each other still and fortunately we're still swinging the bats."
Reliever John Stilson came into the game for the Herd in the seventh. He struck out two and walked one, while allowing just one hit in relief.
The series continues with a single game Saturday afternoon at Coca Cola Field. First pitch scheduled for 1:05 pm.