Best Pitcher Performance, No. 3: Holmes Halts RailRiders in 8-0 Rout

Right-hander returns to form with 11 ground-ball outs

Clay Holmes struck out a season-high eight batters on June 2 at Victory Field. (Photo by Austin Friedline)

By Cheyne Reiter / Indianapolis Indians | October 19, 2018 4:35 PM

INDIANAPOLIS - Best known for throwing a heavy, sinking fastball, Tribe right-hander Clay Holmes went back to his bread-and-butter pitch to toss 7.0 scoreless frames against the visiting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on June 2 at Victory Field. Holmes induced 11 ground-ball outs, did not walk a single batter and recorded a season-high eight strikeouts in the 8-0 win.

After middling through his first nine appearances (eight starts) of the 2018 season to the tune of a 2-3 record and 5.05 ERA (23 ER/41.0 IP), Holmes rediscovered what made him Indy's 2017 Rookie of the Year winner. Over his final 13 appearances (eight starts) for the Tribe this year, he posted a 6-0 record, 2.15 ERA (13 ER/54.1 IP) and 57 strikeouts against just 14 walks.

In front of 11,117 fans on a Saturday night in downtown Indy, Holmes retired the first six men he faced before surrendering a leadoff single to Ronald Torreyes in the third. A fielder's choice, strikeout and groundout followed to keep the visitors off the scoreboard.

Holmes ensured the Tribe's five-run first inning would hold up over the course of the night.

He struck out Clint Frazier and Kyle Higashioka to strand a Brandon Drury single in the fourth. Holmes' dominance continued with another 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, and he worked out of his biggest jam when the RailRiders notched a pair of singles in the sixth. Holmes sat down Drury with a hook and Mike Ford with a two-seam fastball over the inside corner to escape trouble.

His final punchout came against Higashioka to open the seventh. Scranton/W-B tallied two more singles, but an outfield assist by Eric Wood kept Holmes' best start of 2018 intact.

Holmes' final line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K, 98 pitches/66 strikes, Game Score 78

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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