A tight strike zone from plate umpire Jon Byrne, some rough defense behind him and some pitches that caught too much of the plate conspired to hand International League earned-run average leader Randy Wolf his first loss of the season Monday night.
Wolf gave up eight runs (six earned) in just 2 2/3 innings as the Buffalo Bisons opened a seven-game homestand with an 8-4 loss to the Indianapolis Indians at rainy Coca-Cola Field.
Wolf came into the game having allowed just five earned runs all season in eight starts -- and just one in May in four outings totaling 25 innings. But he gave up two runs in the first, two more in the second and four in the third.
Opposing batters were just 2 for 40 this season against Wolf with runners in scoring position, but Indy designated hitter Tony Sanchez rolled a 1-2 pitch up the middle for a two-out, two-run single in the first to get the visitors going.
Errors by Buffalo third baseman Andy Burns and catcher A.J. Jimenez contributed to the two Indy runs in the second.
Wolf gave up seven hits and walked three in his short stint, and threw just 39 of his 69 pitches for strikes. His ERA jumped a full run, from 0.94 to 1.95, and he is now second in the league to the 1.64 of Lehigh Valley's Phillipe Aumont.
Awards stand: Buffalo first baseman Matt Hague was named IL Player of the Week for the second time this season after batting .414 with nine RBIs for the period ending Sunday. Hague had eight doubles in the seven games -- and no other IL player had more than five extra-base hits in the week.
QEW Shuffle: With the Blue Jays activating Jose Reyes off his rehab stint, Munenori Kawasaki was returned to Buffalo and started at second base. Reyes went 4 for 11 in three games.
Hot hitters: Buffalo outhit Indy, 13-12. Burns went 4 for 5 to push his average to .304 in 33 games since his promotion from Double-A New Hampshire. He has 10 multi-hit games, third on the team behind Hague (16) and Brad Glenn (11). Indy first baseman Brent Morel went 4 for 5 -- after entering the game batting just .175 on the season in 34 games. He had a two-run single off Wolf in the third.
Pitchers of record: Wolf fell to 3-1 while Indy reliever A.J. Morris threw two shutout innings to improve to 3-0.
Paid attendance: 5,602 sat through a 38-minute rain delay in the middle of the fifth.
Records: Bisons 23-22, Indianapolis 26-19.
Next up: Tuesday vs. Indy at 6:05. Andrew Albers (2-5) starts for Buffalo. There are 2-for-1 reserved seats available at the box office when a Ted's Hot Dogs receipt is presented.