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Cyclones' Diaz fans career-high 11
NY-Penn League All-Star allows three hits in seven innings
08/23/2013 11:52 PM ET
Miller Diaz shares the New York-Penn League lead with 73 strikeouts.
Miller Diaz shares the New York-Penn League lead with 73 strikeouts. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

Miller Diaz again did his part in the Brooklyn Cyclones' push for a New York-Penn League playoff spot.

The Mets prospect recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings Friday night and the Cyclones got a grand slam from Alex Sanchez in a 10-2 romp at Vermont.

Diaz (5-3) held the Lake Monsters to three hits and three walks to win for the first time since Aug. 2. He retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced after a leadoff single in the fourth, lowering his ERA to 2.22.

The 21-year-old right-hander induced a double play to erase a first-inning single, then fanned two after giving up a walk and a single in the second. He pitched around another walk in the third, struck out two more in the fourth after a leadoff single and worked his first 1-2-3 inning in the fifth.

Diaz, who started the New York-Penn League All-Star Game for the National League squad earlier this month, fanned four straight batters between the sixth and seventh innings, getting Mitch Marincov to line out to end the seventh after issuing his third walk.

The gem came four years to the day that Brooklyn no-hit Aberdeen behind a seven-inning masterpiece by Brandon Moore.

Diaz, who was named the league's Pitcher of the Week on July 22, has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight straight starts. He signed with the Mets as a non-drafted free agent in 2009 and spent most of the previous three seasons with the organization's Rookie-level affiliates before appearing in one game with Class A Savannah last summer.

Diaz has made a good first impression in the NY-Penn League. After a pair of mediocre outings to begin the season, he'd held opponents to three hits or fewer in six of his last eight starts. He leads the league with a .184 opponents' batting average, shares the top spot with 73 strikeouts and ranks 10th in ERA.

Before Friday, the Venezuela native's best outing of the year came on July 20 when he struck out nine and held Batavia to a pair of hits over five innings. He followed that up with a pair of eight-strikeout performances.

Brooklyn gave its starter a lead in the first when L.J. Mazzilli hit an RBI single, Mets No. 8 prospect Gavin Cecchini scored on an error and Mazzilli came home on a fielder's choice. The Cyclones got two more in the third before Sanchez hit a grand slam in the fourth to break the game open.

The win moved Brooklyn within a half-game of first-place Aberdeen in the McNamara Division.

Vermont's only offense came in the eighth on B.J. Boyd's two-run double off Juan Urbina, the son of former Major League pitcher Ugueth Urbina.

Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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