(bisons.com)-Coming into this four-game set between Buffalo and Indianapolis, the two teams found themselves headed in distinctly opposite directions.
The Indians maintained a .611 winning percentage, highest in the International League, with a comfortable 8-game lead in the IL West. The Bisons, on the other hand? Losers of 7 of its previous 8, the Herd entered the series looking to salvage something in a tough July. Buffalo began the set eight games back in the IL North.
But for the Bisons, it was not to be, at least not on Saturday. The recent trends continued, and Indianapolis began the series with a statement. The Indians hit early and often, keeping the Herd bats at bay and cruising to a 6-0 win Saturday at Victory Field.
Indianapolis made an early statement in the second inning, providing more than enough offense that the team would need for the entire game. Batting against Bisons starter Jeurys Familia, the Indians started the inning aggressively and stayed that way - rapping four consecutive hits to start the frame. A double and three singles led to two Indians runs, and Indianapolis added two more courtesy of a wild pitch and a two-RBI single by Chase d'Arnaud. By the end of the frame, the IL's best team to this point had a four-run lead that it would not relinquish.
Familia struggled in the second, to be sure, and would not make it too much further. Brandon Boggs ripped a one-out double off Familia in the third, leading to a run that made the score 5-0 Indianapolis. Familia would give way to reliever Jeff Stevens entering the 4th inning.
And the Bisons offense wasn't able to counter the Indianapolis attack. Indians starter Jeff Locke pitched a gem, allowing no runs on just four hits over seven innings. Locke threw 105 pitches on the evening, 61 for strikes, and only issued three walks.
Bisons manager Wally Backman joined Familia in the clubhouse prematurely as well. Backman was ejected in the 4th inning, with the Herd still trailing 5-0. The ejection was a microcosm of the game for Buffalo, where not much seemed to go right.
The series resumes Sunday afternoon, with first pitch set for 1:15 p.m.