The Buffalo Bisons were sailing through their homestand with the best defense in the International League.
The Bisons were turning crisp double plays and making impressive snags in the field as they ran off seven straight wins.
It started to unravel Wednesday night and finally came undone on Thursday afternoon.
The Herd officially committed four errors in their 6-4 loss to the Indianapolis Indians in front of 7,890 at Coca-Cola Field.
The scoreboard listed five until a fielding error on Darin Mastroianni in the second was changed to a base hit for Nevin Ashley after the game.
Just one of those days in the field for the Herd?
“I hope to hell it’s just one of those days,” said hitting coach Richie Hebner while manager Gary Allenson continued his organizationally mandated vacation. “I don’t want to make five errors every game. I mean that looked like the Bad News Bears out there for a little bit.”
It wasn’t just the four errors, but the fact that runs scored on three of the four miscues.
The problems began in earnest in the fifth inning when a wild pitch from starting pitcher Raul Valdes allowed one run to score and a fielding error by third baseman Kevin Nolan allowed another run to cross.
Then came the sixth when, with one out and runners on the corners, Roberto Andino hit a grounder to Nolan at third. He threw to Ryan Schimpf at second, but Schimpf missed the catch. Everyone was safe and the Indians scored the go-ahead run.
A two-out, bases-loaded single from Andrew Lambo scored another run. Then another fielding error by Nolan at third allowed yet another run.
Nolan’s final error of the game came when in the ninth when he had been moved to first and botched a popup in front of home plate. That time no runs were scored.
“We were playing good defense in games before this,” Schimpf said. “Valdes threw a good game, but we couldn’t help anyone out on defense. Just not a good job by us.
“Baseball is a funny game. It’s a tough game, you know, certain positions, especially third base over there. It’s not easy, especially if you don’t play there all the time, but we just had some tough errors. We’ve got to be better.”
While Nolan made three errors, two of them at third, it was only his seventh start at the hot corner for the Herd this season.
Meanwhile, Schimpf provided part of the offense for the Herd, notching a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Kevin Pillar crushed a two-run home run in the first, driving a pitch over the left-field screen on to Seneca Street.
Pillar again made things happen offensively for the Herd in the eighth. Trailing, 6-3, Pillar had a two-out single, stole his 21st base of the season, then scored on a single from Brad Glenn. But the Bisons’ rally would end there.
After a day of no roster moves, the Herd lost reliever Chad Jenkins, who was recalled to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Meanwhile, the Jays lost starter Esmil Rogers, who was picked up by the New York Yankees from waivers. Rogers was designated for assignment by the Jays. Had he cleared, Rogers would have likely pitched for the Herd today.
The homestand concludes tonight (7:05 p.m., Radio 1520 AM) with lefty Brad Mills (1-0, 5.40) scheduled to start for the Bisons. Indianapolis will counter with right-hander Brandon Cumpton (5-3, 2.97 ERA).