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Chapman Hits 103-MPH as Bats Shutout G-Braves, 6-005/27/2010 11:22 PM ET
By Carmen Miller
LOUISVILLE, Ky, - After a 42-minute rain delay at Louisville Slugger Field the Bats went on to win the first game of the series against the Gwinnett Braves. Louisville was aided by a stellar pitching performance from Aroldis Chapman and four RBI's by Luis Terrero. The Bats are now 4-1 on the home stand and inching closer to .500 with a record of 22-25.
The 6-0 win for Chapman marked his first start in eight days after leaving the May 19th Lehigh Valley game in the fifth inning with a blister. Chapman missed his last scheduled start on Monday due to the same ailment.
An impressive defensive and offensive performance by the Bats in the first set the tone for the game. Chapman came out throwing fireballs, not falling under 97 mph. The 22-year-old Cuban phenom stunned the crowd at Louisville Slugger Field with his fastest career pitch, clocked at 103 mph, to strike out third basemen Wes Timmons.
Timmons was again victimized by the Bats on defense as a line-drive by Wladimir Balentien hit off his glove and went into left field for an RBI single, scoring Cozart from second. The hit gave Balentien his 21st RBI of the season and awarded the Bats the first run of the game.
However it was Luis Terrero who had the most to say at the plate when he nailed a 3-0 pitch off Braves pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes for a towering three-run homer into left. There was no doubt this 418 foot shot was gone the moment Terrero made contact. The blast put the Bats up 4-0 at the end of the first and they never looked back. Terrero ended up going three-for-four on the night with a home run, a single in the fourth, and an RBI double in the sixth. He drove in four of the six Bats runs and was just a triple short of the cycle.
Castillo scored the Bats sixth and final run of the night with his only hit in the eighth. The single brought Todd Frazier home from second, making the final score 6-0.
In the ninth Bats reliever Federico Baez nearly let the shut-out get away after giving up a single and two walks. He recovered by getting Timmons to ground out at second to end the game.
The Braves put in RHP Vladimir Nunez in the fifth inning to replace starter LHP Jo-Jo Reyes (0-1, 5.59). Reyes was charged with the loss after giving up four hits and four earned runs in four innings. Reyes also recorded one walk and four strikeouts.
Aroldis Chapman (5-2, 3.55) was taken out after five. It was his second consecutive start without giving up a run and he allowed only three hits. During tonight's start against Gwinnett, Chapman struck out seven batters and walked just one. He threw 90 pitches, 57 of which were strikes in arguably his best start of the season. Chapman also had a good night at the plate going 1-for-2 with an infield hit.
The Bats continue the home series against the Gwinnett Braves through the weekend. Louisville will send LHP Matt Maloney (4-1, 2.72) to the mound to face RHP Todd Redmond (3-5, 5.70) tomorrow during the Bats Hat Giveaway at Louisville Slugger Field. First 2,000 fans in attendance to the 7:05 p.m. start will receive a Louisville Bats Baseball cap.