LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Homer Bailey had a season-high nine strikeouts and extended his scoreless innings pitched streak to 13.2 innings while Todd Frazier's home run jump started a five-run second in the Bats 6-0 shutout of Norfolk, Thursday night. It was the Bats league-leading 12th shutout this season in front of a crowd of 7,787 fans at Louisville Slugger Field.
Bailey (2-0, 2.50) making his third start for the Bats got off on the right foot with a pair of strikeouts in a perfect first and added another in a clean second. The 24-year old righty, on his second rehab stint this season, retired the first eight batters he faced and did not allow a Norfolk base runner to reach third.
Meanwhile, the Bats offense backed Bailey with early run support off Norfolk starter Chris George.
Ignited by one of the hottest Bats in the lineup, six of the first seven batters would reach in the second inning. Todd Frazier led off the five-run frame with his 15th home run that landed on the home run terrace in left.
Frazier's blast, his second in as many games, started a hit parade that saw a pair of doubles and four singles from Bats hitters. Michael Griffin's run-scoring double began a string of four consecutive RBI plate appearances as Wilkin Castillo drove in a run, followed by Drew Sutton's RBI-single, and Zack Cozart's sacrifice fly.
Frazier went 2-for-3 at the plate and raised his average to .262, which is the highest it has been since his 2-for-4 start on opening day. He has 10 hits and a pair of home runs over the last six games with 10 RBI.
With a comfortable lead, Bailey took control of the game. He struck out nine Tides batters, the most strikeouts he has had since he retired nine Columbus hitters last June (6/12/09).
After 102 pitches - 66 strikes - Bailey exited the game the same way he started with a strikeout to end the seventh. The former first round pick of the Reds in 2004 went seven innings, allowing six hits and walked none. He has not allowed a run in his last 13.2 innings pitched dating back to his start on July 31.
Carlos Fisher tossed a scoreless eighth inning in relief for Louisville, allowing a hit while Philippe Valiquette gave up two base hits before securing the shutout in the ninth.
George (5-6, 4.25) was chased from the game in the fourth after walking the bases loaded. He allowed six runs on nine hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 3.2 innings. Three Norfolk relievers followed, holding the Bats scoreless after the fourth.
But the damage was already done.
Four different Bats hitters had multi-hit nights including Yonder Alonso, now on a modest six-game hitting streak, Frazier, Balentien, and Corky Miller.
The Bats won their eighth straight game at home and 14th of their last 18 in the friendly confines of Louisville Slugger Field. It is the longest home winning streak since the Bats also won eight games from July 22 to August 8, 2008.
The weekend homestand continues on Friday night as RHP Micah Owings (0-0, 2.57) will make the start for Louisville. RHP Tim Bascom (2-5, 6.51) is scheduled to be on the mound for Norfolk. First pitch from Louisville Slugger Field is set for 7:05 p.m. with fireworks following the game.