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Diaz dazzles, but late homer downs Reds, 2-1

RHP Alexis Diaz strikes out nine over six innings in no-decision
RHP Alexis Diaz struck out a career-high nine over six innings, but the Greeneville Reds fell to the Burlington Royals, 2-1, on Saturday night at Burlington Athletic Stadium. (Brian McLeod / MiLB.com)
July 7, 2018

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- RHP Alexis Diaz stifled hitters over six innings - striking out a career-best nine - however an eighth-inning home run gave the Burlington Royals a 2-1 victory over the Greeneville Reds on Saturday night at Burlington Athletic Stadium.With the loss, Greeneville has now dropped three-straight and fell 5-11 on the

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- RHP Alexis Diaz stifled hitters over six innings - striking out a career-best nine - however an eighth-inning home run gave the Burlington Royals a 2-1 victory over the Greeneville Reds on Saturday night at Burlington Athletic Stadium.
With the loss, Greeneville has now dropped three-straight and fell 5-11 on the campaign. Burlington's victory ended a seven-game losing stretch and improved their overall mark to 3-15.
Scoreless through the first four frames, the Redlegs finally broke through with a run in the top of the fifth. With two outs, SS Claudio Finol (2-3, R, 2B) doubled down the left-field line. RF Brian Rey (1-4, RBI, SO) followed with a bloop single into right field - scoring Finol - to put the Reds ahead, 1-0.
Burlington responded with a two-out rally of their own in the bottom of the inning. CF Hunter Strong (1-3, R, 2 SO) and 2B Jose Marquez (2-3, 2B) smacked back-to-back singles, putting men at first and third. LF Montae Bradshaw (1-3, 2B, RBI, SO) proceeded to lace a double into left. Strong scored to even the game up at one.
The game remained even until the bottom of the eighth. On a 2-0 pitch with one out, DH Jackson Lueck (1-4, R, HR, RBI, 3 SO) roped a laser over the right-field fence for a solo home run. The blast - his second of the year - put the Royals in the lead, 2-1.
Greeneville would rally in the top of the ninth but fell short. With two on and one out, Finol singled through the right side. Pinch-runner Satchel McElroy was sent towards the plate, but RF Juan Carlos Negret threw him out to keep Burlington ahead. Pinch-hitter Brandt Stallings was then called out on strikes to end the game with the tying and go-ahead runs on-base.
Both starters were stellar in no-decisions. Diaz (6.0 IP, 5 H, R, ER, BB, 9 SO) posted a season-long start for a G-Reds' pitcher yielding one run over six frames. RHP Malcolm Van Buren (5.0 IP, 5 H, R, ER, BB, 5 SO) hoisted his longest and best start for Burlington, too, surrendering a measly run in five innings of work.
RHP Yerelmy Garcia (4.0 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 SO) struggled with his command but was able to hurl four spotless innings of relief to earn his first victory of the season. One bad pitch derailed RHP Aaron Quillen 's (1.0 IP, H, R, ER, SO) evening, suffering his first defeat of the campaign.
The Redlegs will look to even up the series on Sunday afternoon, as LHP Jacob Heatherly (0-2, 14.09 ERA) - Cincinnati's No. 15 prospect according to Baseball America - is expected to make the start. Burlington is projected to counter with LHP Austin Cox (0-1, 0.00 ERA)
The G-Reds Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 1:45 p.m. ET, leading up to the 2:00 p.m. ET start at Pioneer Park. Sunday afternoon's contest can be heard on GreenevilleReds.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps. 
Following the week-long road trip, the Reds will return home on Saturday, July 14 to open up a three-game set against the Bristol Pirates. It will be Star Wars Night at the ballpark that evening featuring special movie-themed uniforms, music, food, and on-field games. In addition, the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a special Lightsaber Giveaway courtesy of Consumer Credit Union. That night's jersey's will be auctioned off to benefit the United Way of Greene County.
Season and single-game tickets are still available and can be purchased online at GreenevilleReds.com or by calling the Reds' Ticket Office at (423) 609-7400.
Season and single-game tickets are still available and can be purchased online at GreenevilleReds.com or by calling the Reds' Ticket Office at (423) 609-7400.