Willy Adames provided the Durham Bulls a first-inning run and his friend, workhorse starting pitcher Yonny Chirinos, took things from there on Friday night.
Adames smacked a solo home run and Chirinos pitched eight shutout innings before Ryne Stanek handled the ninth inning in a 1-0 Durham Bulls International League baseball win over the Toledo Mud Hens at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Chirinos (8-3) pitched beyond the seventh inning for the third consecutive game. After starting the season at Double-A Montgomery before making his Triple-A debut on May 3, the right-hander has now pitched six or more innings five times in 11 of his 13 starts.
“We saw when he first got here quick at bats,” Bulls manager Jared Sandberg said. “It allows you to be efficient with your pitches and pitch deep into a ball game.”
Relying on his ground-ball inducing two-seam fastball, Chirinos allowed just four hits while walking one in eight innings against Toledo. He didn’t issue his lone walk until the eighth inning. He struck out six.
“I was super aggressive today attacking the hitters,” the Spanish-speaking Chirinos said through Adames, his translator.
Sandberg said the coaching staff was impressed that Chirinos’ fastball hit 96 mph. He’s been as high as 95 this season but usually throws in the 92-93 range.
Toledo starting pitcher Matthew Boyd produced nearly as impressive a game as Chirinos. The left-hander also pitched eight innings, allowing just three hits. But Adames collected one of them when he drilled a 3-1 fastball on the outside corner deep over the fence in right-centerfield.