Zach McAllister is looking to get back to Cleveland.
The 26-year-old right-hander made 46 starts the last two seasons with the Indians and began 2014 with the Tribe.
But McAllister went on the disabled list with a lower back strain May 22 and after he was activated on June 18 found himself optioned to Triple-A Columbus.
He looked in fine form Thursday afternoon, giving a glittering performance to guide the Columbus Clippers to a 9-0 win over the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Field.
McAllister (3-0) threw 7∑ scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
He gave up those three hits in the first three innings, then retired 14 straight batters before issuing a one-out walk in the eighth.
“I thought we had a shot off him, or a decent shot off him, the first inning or two, but he picked it up,” Bisons manager Gary Allenson said. “First off he got ahead on everybody. Everybody was behind strike one it seemed like. Basically he got ahead with his fastball and, we’ve talked about it a few times here, you get ahead 0-1 and the zone expands. Hitters start chasing up in the zone. … He obviously pitched better than we did today.”
It was a disappointing performance for Bisons’ starter Deck McGuire (3-3), who was tagged for four runs (three earned) on six hits, including a pair of home runs.
McGuire started the season in Double-A New Hampshire making 10 starts before earning a promotion to the Bisons on May 25. He won three of his first four outings, but since then has suffered three straight losses.
“His first three starts were really good,” Allenson said. “The last three … he’s different. He’s up in the zone. He’s behind … His first three times out he was right around the knees, aggressive in the strike zone and getting his off-speed pitches over the plate where he wasn’t predictable. Right now he’s behind and up in the zone with his fastball and he is predictable.”
While the pitching staff struggled, the offense gave them nothing to work with.
Adron Chambers had one of just four hits for the Herd, extending his hitting streak to four games.
Chambers was the offensive hero Wednesday night, driving in the winning run in the 13-inning suspended game and then knocking the game-tying two-run home run in the second game.
The outfielder was acquired in a trade with Houston on June 12. A veteran of 84 Major League games with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2011 to 2013, he was on the club’s roster for last year’s National League Division Series and National League Championship Series, going 0 for 5 in five games.
He began this year with Oklahoma City of the Pacific Coast League, hitting .281 and driving in 15 runs before joining the Bisons.
Chambers wasn’t getting everyday time when he joined the Bisons on last week’s road trip. The Herd had a glut of outfielders and Chambers was often the odd-man out, especially against left-handed pitching.
But with the Toronto Blue Jays recalling two Bisons outfielders (currently Anthony Gose and Brad Glenn), Chambers has gotten more opportunities.
“I think that’s a big key to any hitter,” Chambers said. “The more times you get to go up to the plate, see pitches and swing. It’s hard to swing the bat when you’re sitting on the bench watching it. For me, it’s been a tough season from the start. But the more at-bats I get, the more opportunities I have to settle in and do what I have to do.”
Thursday’s attendance was 6,133. ... The series and homestand concludes tonight (7:05 p.m., Radio 1520). Righty P.J. Walters (1-0, 1.80) is scheduled to start for the Herd against righty Kyle Davies (4-4, 3.81) … A limited number of game-worn affiliation throwback jerseys from last weekend’s Blue Jays Weekend will be on sale at the Team Shop beginning at 5 p.m. The jerseys cost $175 and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.