Faria nearly untouchable in Bulls shutout

Rays No. 9 prospect holds G-Braves hitless into the sixth inning

Jacob Faria leads the International League with 71 strikeouts. (Durham Bulls)

By Alex Kraft / MiLB.com | May 20, 2017 11:09 PM

Jacob Faria watched the ball hit by Sean Kazmar land in fair territory and noticed Triple-A Gwinnett's dugout erupt in cheers.

The right-hander was puzzled why a team would celebrate so much over a sixth-inning double. He would soon find out. 

"After that inning, [catcher Curt Casali] and I were in the dugout and he looked at me and goes, 'Hey, did you realize they didn't have any hits?'" Faria said. "I looked at the scoreboard, and they were just then putting the one in the hit column."

The Rays No. 9 prospect gave up one hit, walked two and struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings as Durham beat the G-Braves, 6-0, on Saturday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Gameday box score

Faria (5-1) issued walks to top Braves prospect Ozzie Albies and first baseman James Loney to start the first and second innings, respectively, but those were Gwinnett's only baserunners through five frames. After surrendering nine runs on 15 hits over 9 2/3 innings over his previous two starts, the 23-year-old said he felt more confident on Saturday. 

"Same game plan, better execution. My last game, I failed to jump ahead as much as I would have liked, and when I was ahead of guys I failed to put them away," Faria said. "Today was the same game plan. Jump ahead early and put them away as quick as possible."

Video: Faria's ninth strikeout for Durham

That approach kept the G-Braves hitless until Kazmar broke up the no-hit bid. Faria responded by striking out Mel Rojas Jr. to end the frame.

Despite sitting at 97 pitches, the California native got the call to start the seventh. Faria struck out Lane Adams before handing the ball to Adam Kolarek.

Video: Kazmar gets Braves first hit

"[Pitching coach Kyle Snyder] said, 'Go out there and keep chucking it,'" Faria said. "I didn't have any idea how many hitters they were going to let me face that inning, but the one, I guess, was the plan that they had."

As Faria departed, many of the 9,725 in attendance gave him a warm ovation. The 2011 10th-round pick responded by doffing his cap.

MiLB include

"It was a nice little ovation," Faria said. "I walked off the mound and [manager] Jared Sandberg was like, 'Make sure you tip your cap to the fans.' It was pretty touching."

Jake Bauers, Tampa Bay's fourth-ranked prospect, belted a solo homer for Durham. Rays top prospect Willy Adames chipped in a pair of hits, including an RBI triple, while Patrick Leonard singled twice to lift his International League-leading batting average to .359.

Video: Bulls' Bauers hammers one out

Matt Wisler (1-3) was tagged for six runs on a season-high 12 hits while fanning six over 5 1/3 innings for Gwinnett.

Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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