A change of scenery seems to be doing Lehigh Valley's Les Walrond some good.
On Sunday, the 31-year-old lefty racked up 17 strikeouts, the most in the Minors this season, as the host IronPigs blanked the Louisville Bats, 2-0.
Walrond (3-7) went the distance, allowing five hits and walking one as he lowered his ERA to 3.44. He got 13 of his final 14 outs via the strikeout and fanned the side in the last three frames.
Walrond signed as a free agent with the Phillies in May after two seasons in the Cubs' organization. His previous high for strikeouts was 10, which he achieved on four different occasion, the last on July 31, 2004 for Triple-A Omaha against Tucson.
Walrond, who was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Kansas, last tossed a complete game on June 19, 2005 for Triple-A Albuquerque.
The Oklahoma native was 1-1 with a 6.55 ERA in seven appearances, all in relief, for the Iowa Cubs earlier this season before being released.
He has made 12 appearances for the IronPigs, all starts and has earned the victory in his last two outings. On July 1, he gave up three runs on six hits over six innings to notch the win in Lehigh Valley's 12-5 decision over the Rochester Red Wings.
While Sunday's strikeout performance was a career and a team best, it was five short of the International League record of 22 set by former Major Leaguer Bob Veale of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 10, 1962 for the Triple-A Columbus Jets.
The IronPigs (36-55) supported Walrond with a run in the first on Mike Cervenak's RBI single and added another in the third when Brandon Watson tripled and came home on Oscar Robles' groundout.
Ramon Ramirez (2-3) surrendered two runs on seven hits, fanning five and walking one over six innings to take the loss for the Bats (50-41).
Alan Friedman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.