Best Pitcher Performance, No. 2: Brault Tames Bulls with Eight-Inning Doozy

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INDIANAPOLIS – Steven Brault looked the part of a 2017 International League midseason All-Star, postseason All-Star and Most Valuable Pitcher on June 29 against Durham in a 4-0 shutout. The left-hander held the Bulls to four hits with nine strikeouts over a career-high-tying eight frames.

The 25-year-old commanded his fastball, curveball and changeup throughout the night in outdueling screwballer Brent Honeywell, helping the Tribe earn a four-game split. He opened the first with a strikeout of Johnny Field and bookended the second with punchouts of Jake Bauers and Casey Gillaspie.

He flashed his curveball in the third to fan Cade Gotta before retiring Alec Sole on strikes. In the fourth he spun a 3-2 curve below the zone that Willy Adames chased for strike three.

Only one Bulls batter reached scoring position in Brault’s eight innings on the mound, as Pat Leonard doubled with one down in the fifth. A strikeout and lineout helped Brault escape that jam, however.

He quickly erased a leadoff single in the sixth with a double-play ball, and he finished his outing with two strikeouts in the eighth, the last coming on a 93-mph, belt-high heater against Sole.

The victory gave Brault seven consecutive wins and moved the Indians’ record to 44-35. The start also marked the fifth of six times in 2017 where he eclipsed the century mark in total pitches.

Brault’s final line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 106 pitches/69 strikes.

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

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