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Miller and Company Shutout Legends Thursday
05/22/2014 10:22 PM ET
Miller Diaz earned his team-leading fifth win during Thursday's 4-0 shutout over Lexington thanks to eight strikeouts. (Photo by Gordon Donovan)

Lexington, Ky. - The Savannah Sand Gnats shutout the Lexington Legends 4-0 on Thursday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark on the back of another stellar outing by starting pitcher Miller Diaz. The potent Gnats offense notched 10 hits including L.J. Mazzilli's fourth home run of the season.

Diaz was sharp through six and one-thirds shut-out innings. The Caracas, Venezuela, native navigated five hits and three walks, striking out eight batters- the third such time he's whiffed eight this season. After losing his first start of the season, Diaz has earned a win in five consecutive starts to become the first five-win Sand Gnats starter.

Savannah reliever and consummate strike-out machine Akeel Morris took the reins for an inning and two-thirds to earn his first hold of the season, striking out three while preserving his scoreless innings streak at 24 and one-thirds.

Savannah reliever Tyler Vanderheiden then finished off the ninth to secure the Gnats' fifth shutout, lowering his ERA to just 0.79.

Lexington starter Matt Tenuta surrendered six hits and three earned runs, including a Victor Cruzado sacrifice-fly in the second inning that gave the Gnats a 1-0 lead. Tenuta ran into trouble again in the sixth when 3B Jeff McNeil singled home LF Patrick Biondi and then scored on a 1B Dominic Smith double to extend the lead to 3-0.

Mazzilli added a fourth run via a solo home run in the eighth off of Legends reliever Jose Miguel Rodriguez. The second baseman finished the night 2-for-4 with two runs scored and now has two home runs in his last three games.  

Also going 2-for-4, McNeil added to his consecutive-game hit streak, now at 14 games. His batting average now sits at an impressive .347 through 39 games.

Savannah will look to extend their five game divisional lead Friday, sending Robert Gsellman (2-3, 1.32 ERA) up against SAL WHIP leader Luis Santos (4-1, 2.03 ERA). First pitch at Whitaker Bank Pallpark is set for 7:05 p.m. Follow all of the action live on News/Talk 630, sandgnats.com and the MiLB First Pitch App.

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