INDIANAPOLIS - Clay Holmes' first season in Triple-A went as planned as the right-hander registered a 10-5 record and 3.36 ERA (42 ER/112.2 IP) in 25 games (24 starts), leading to Indy Rookie of the Year honors. Holmes was especially dominant at Victory Field, where he finished 7-3 with a 2.79 ERA (22 ER/71.0 IP) in 15 outings (14 starts).
Thanks to a mid-90s sinker, the 24-year-old often induced weak contact and only let four balls leave the yard the entire season. During a stellar six-start home stretch, Holmes mastered the Syracuse Chiefs on Aug. 13 at the Vic with five hitless innings.
Holmes began his outing with a pair of strikeouts before retiring Neftali Soto on a flyout, one of two balls to leave the infield in his time on the mound. He retired the side in the second on three groundouts and worked a 1-2-3 third by sandwiching two punchouts around another routine grounder. Three more ground-ball outs got him through the fourth unscathed.
His only blemish on the otherwise spectacular outing came with two outs in the fifth when he walked Alejandro De Aza. He promptly erased the threat with a lineout to second.
Indianapolis' two-run fourth was enough for Holmes, Tyler Eppler and Edgar Santana in the 2-0 shutout.
Holmes was the only Tribe pitcher to throw five-plus innings while allowing no hits in a start in 2017. In 2016, Tyler Glasnow accomplished the feat three times and Steven Brault did so once as well.
In his next home start, Holmes tossed another six scoreless innings, giving him a 4-2 record and 1.74 ERA (6 ER/31.0 IP) in his final six home appearances.
Holmes' final line: 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 69 pitches/42 strikes.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.