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NORFOLK, Va. – Second-year pro Kendall Graveman keeps climbing the minor league baseball ladder with impressive performances at every stop.

In his Triple-A debut Saturday night, the 23-year-old right-hander from Mississippi State pitched effectively for seven innings for the Buffalo Bisons in their 2-1 loss to the Norfolk Tides in the opener of their four-game series at Harbor Park.

The game was called in the bottom of the eighth after a rain delay.

Graveman started the season with Class A Lansing, moved on to Class A Dunedin and last week made his Double-A debut for New Hampshire. He was 2-0 with an 0.34 ERA at Lansing, 8-4, 2.23 at Dunedin before winning his lone start at New Hampshire (1-0, 1.50).

True to form, Graveman walked none and struck out four in his first start for Buffalo. In 136 innings this season, he has walked only 26 with 97 strikeouts.

Seven of the eight hits against Graveman on Saturday were singles. The only extra-base blow was a double by Dariel Alvarez in the sixth inning that drove home Henry Urrutia with the winning run.

The Bisons took the lead in the second on a solo home run by Andy LaRoche. After that, however, the Herd was shut out. Buffalo had only three hits but left 12 runners on base and was 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position through eight innings.

It was the first meeting of the season between the teams, who will meet again today (6:05 p.m., Radio 1520). Lefty Sean Nolin (3-4, 3.29) is the scheduled starter for Buffalo against former big leaguer Ubaldo Jiminez (no record).