Stripers Hang On to Win Smith-Shawver’s Debut
MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Atlanta Braves’ No. 4 prospect AJ Smith-Shawver threw 5.0 innings of four-hit, two-run baseball and Chad Pinder’s solo home run broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh as the Gwinnett Stripers (19-23) defeated the Memphis Redbirds (24-19) 5-4 on Friday night at AutoZone Park. Gwinnett has won four
MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Atlanta Braves’ No. 4 prospect AJ Smith-Shawver threw 5.0 innings of four-hit, two-run baseball and Chad Pinder’s solo home run broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh as the Gwinnett Stripers (19-23) defeated the Memphis Redbirds (24-19) 5-4 on Friday night at AutoZone Park. Gwinnett has won four straight games over the Redbirds, earning its second series win of the year.
Decisive Plays: Smith-Shawver scattered four hits in his Triple-A debut, one of which was a solo homer by MLB.com No. 1 prospect Jordan Walker (2) to tie the game at 1-1 in the second. Tied 2-2 in the seventh, Pinder powered a 381-foot opposite-field homer (2) to right field off Grant Black (L, 0-2) to put the Stripers ahead 3-2. Hoy Park added an RBI single later in the seventh to make it 4-2. After the Redbirds trimmed it to 4-3 on Walker’s RBI groundout in the eighth, Braden Shewmake doubled and scored on a single by Nick Solak to boost the lead to 5-3 in the ninth. That run proved to be the game winner as Kyle Wilcox (S, 2) yielded a run on three walks in the ninth before ending the game.
Key Contributors: Pinder delivered four hits for the second straight game to start his Stripers career, going 4-for-5 with a double, homer, and one RBI. Park went 3-for-4 with a double and one RBI, and Forrest Wall went 3-for-4 with one RBI. Grant Holmes (W, 3-0) pitched 2.0 scoreless innings and struck out three in relief of Smith-Shawver. For Memphis, Walker went 1-for-4 with the homer and two RBIs.
Noteworthy: At 20 years, five months, and 29 days, Smith-Shawver became the second-youngest starting pitcher in Gwinnett history, older than only Julio Teheran when he debuted on April 8, 2011 vs. Durham (20 years, two months, 12 days). Through two games, Pinder is batting .727 (8-for-11) with one double, two homers, three RBIs, and a 2.091 OPS. Yolmer Sanchez went 1-for-4 to extend his on-base streak to 17 games, while Park’s three hits extended his hitting streak to seven games.
Next Game (Saturday, May 20): Gwinnett at Memphis, 7:35 p.m. ET at AutoZone Park. Starting pitchers for both teams are TBD. Broadcast: 7:20p.m. on MyCountry993.com and the Bally Live app.
Next Home Game (Tuesday, May 23): Gwinnett vs. Durham, 7:05 p.m. ET at Coolray Field. Broadcast: 6:50 p.m. on MyCountry993.com and the Bally Live app. It’s Family Value Tuesday, presented by Coolray Heating & Cooling, with hot dogs for $2 and desserts for $1.