Walker Wows in Triple-A Debut as Stripers Win 2-0
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Right-hander Jeremy Walker, making his Triple-A debut Sunday for the Gwinnett Stripers, twirled 8.0 scoreless innings in a 2-0 win over the Charlotte Knights at Coolray Field.
Promoted Saturday from Advanced-A Florida, the 23-year-old Walker dazzled over his 8.0 innings of work, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out six.
Walker retired the first 12 batters he faced before giving up a walk to Matt Skole leading off the fifth inning. Charlotte's first hit came on a single by Bryant Flete to start the sixth.
The Stripers gave Walker a one-run lead to work with for most of the game. In the third, Alex Jackson led off with a double and was driven home on a two-out single by Xavier Avery off Knights' starter and Cleveland, Georgia native Spencer Adams.
It remained a 1-0 game through seven innings. Walker ran into a bit of trouble in the eighth, when a double by Patrick Leonard and a single by Trayce Thompson put runners on the corners with no outs. Flete grounded a ball to second, which Sean Kazmar Jr. instinctively threw home to nab Leonard before he could score. Walker (W, 1-0) retired the next two batters to get out of the inning and preserve the shutout.
Gwinnett added an insurance run in the eighth on a pair of doubles by Jackson and Avery off Rob Scahill.
Chad Sobotka (S, 3) came on to close it out, striking out Eloy Jimenez and Skole to end the game in one hour, 58 minutes - the Stripers' shortest 9.0-inning game this season.
Adams (L, 4-7) went 7.0 innings allowing six hits and one run with four strikeouts, but he was outdueled by Walker.
Walker's 8.0 innings of work tied his career high, and matched the Stripers' season high, reached four times and last accomplished by Bryse Wilson on August 15 vs. Louisville.
The shutout was Gwinnett's 14th on the season, tied with Indianapolis for the most in the International League.
Avery and Jackson provided the Stripers' offensive output: Avery went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, both times driving in Jackson, who had two doubles on the day.
Leonard, Thompson and Flete accounted for Charlotte's three hits.
The Stripers (70-68) guaranteed a winning season record Sunday with the season finale Monday against Charlotte (63-75) at 1:05 p.m. Gwinnett's starter has yet to be announced, while the Knights will send out right-hander Jordan Stephens (3-7, 4.90 ERA). Dave Lezotte will have the play-by-play call on 97.7 and 93.5 FM "The Other Side of the River" beginning at 12:35 p.m.
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