Bisons Need Extra Innings to Beat Indians 5-4

12:08 AM, Aug 1, 2012   |    comments
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( runners on first and second and one out in the 10th, Bisons closer Fernando Cabrera found himself in a bit of a predicament. With the game tied at 4, Indianapolis was in sudden-death mode, and a base hit would likely drive in the winning run. Making matters even dicier? Cabrera had struggled with his command up to that point Monday, and a walk or wild pitch would push the Bisons closer to the brink.

But Cabrera has plenty of big-league experience, and he wouldn't let the situation break him. Cabrera struck out the next two Indians batters, and the game moved to the next frame. Buffalo's Zach Lutz quickly took advantage, launching a homer to right field with one out in the 11th, and the Bisons held on for the 5-4 win over Indy in 11 innings. With the victory, the Herd earned a series sweep with the Indians, the IL's best team to date in 2012.

Heading into the bottom of the 9th, it looked like the Herd was in good shape to notch a regulation win, leading by a score of 4-2. But Indianapolis is the league's best for a reason, and proved it with a clutch hitting display by right fielder Brandon Boggs. With runners on first and second and one out, Boggs ripped a line drive that hugged the foul line for a while but stayed in play the whole way through - all the way into the right field corner. The runners scored from first and second, and the game was tied at 4.

Cabrera did well to make it through the inning from that point, aided by Matt Den Dekker's sliding catch on the warning track in right-center field that retired the side. All things considered, the Bisons dodged major bullets in both the 9th and 10th innings - Indy had a man on third with two outs at the time of Den Dekker's outfield slide - and did very well to make it to the 11th. From there, Lutz delivered.

After Lutz's 11th-inning heroics, Bisons reliever Jeff Stevens came in with the task of finishing the job. After the close calls in the 9th and 10th saw Buffalo nearly lose the victory, Stevens made quick work of Indy, retiring the side in order to close the deal. Once Indians second baseman Anderson Hernandez struck out on a foul tip, Bisons catcher Lucas May quickly raced to the mound to congratulate Stevens, high-fiving the pitcher for a job well done.

Collin McHugh got the start on the mound for Buffalo, and turned in a quality outing. McHugh went six innings strong, allowing two runs on just three hits.

With the Indy series wrapped up, the Bisons have an off day Wednesday before returning home for a four-game set with Syracuse. First pitch Thursday for Bisons-Chiefs is slated for 7:05 p.m.

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