Daz Cameron has the athleticism, the talent and the lineage to shine on the diamond. He did just that in his club's first playoff game in more than a decade.
Detroit's No. 8 prospect finished with three hits, two RBIs and a stolen base as Triple-A Toledo rolled past Durham, 10-3, on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the International League semifinals at Fifth Third Field. Cameron also scored twice and walked while playing some fine defense to help the Mud Hens earn a victory in their first postseason game since 2007.
Video: Toledo's Cameron strokes his third hit
"It felt good to come out tonight and help the team win," he said. "I do it the best way I can, which means playing hard and having fun. Helping the team win is always my main goal and that's what we did."
The 21-year-old plated a pair of runs with a single to right field and scored on Harold Castro's base hit during Toledo's four-run first inning. He singled to center, stole second and crossed the plate again on Pete Kozma's two-RBI double in the third. Cameron led off the fifth with a third knock to center before capping his game with a walk in the seventh.
Gameday box score
The son of three-time Gold Glove winner Mike Cameron flashed some of his father's defensive prowess when he raced over to right-center to make a nice running grab of Rob Refsnyder's sinking liner in the sixth.
"It was great for the team to set the tone early and jump out front," Cameron said. "Starting the game off right is always a big key and that helped us get a big win."
Video: Toledo's Cameron runs the ball down
Obtained in the Justin Verlander deal on Aug. 31, 2017, the Georgia native began the year with Class A Advanced Lakeland before earning a promotion to Double-A Erie on June 18. He played in 15 games with Toledo after his second move up the organizational ladder on Aug. 17.
Coming on the heels of a breakout campaign last year in which he batted .271/.351/.463 with 51 extra-base hits, 80 runs, 74 RBIs and 32 stolen bases, Cameron followed up with another solid year in 2018. The Georgia native compiled a slash line of .264/.343/.406 with 42 extra-base hits, 75 runs scored, 61 RBIs and 24 stolen bases in 126 games across three levels in 2018.
"It's been great to be around different players and get that experience," he said. "I've taken a number of things from them to enhance my game and the experience has been great. For me to be up here at this level and to have made the jumps has been surreal. I'm happy I've been able to contribute and learn along the way."
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Tigers 10th-ranked prospect Willi Castro finished with two hits and an RBI, No. 16 Jake Robson belted a run-scoring double and Jason Krizan went deep to pace the Mud Hens' 12-hit attack.
Starter Ryan Carpenter (1-0) allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings to earn the win. The 28-year-old walked two and struck out six.
Refsnyder paced the reigning Governors' Cup-champion Bulls' offense with a double and two RBIs.
Ryan Weber (0-1) was charged with seven runs -- six earned -- on eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts in three innings.
The clubs will square off in Game 2 of the best-of-5 series Thursday at 6:35 p.m. ET at Fifth Third Field.
In other IL playoff action:
RailRiders 3, IronPigs 2
Mark Payton slugged a two-out walk-off homer in the ninth inning to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a 1-0 lead in the other semifinal series. The 26-year-old plated the RailRiders' first run with an RBI groundout in the third. Gio Urshela went 3-for-4 with a double for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Joey Meneses and Trevor Plouffe had two hits apiece for Lehigh Valley, which rallied from a 2-0 deficit. Phillies No. 9 prospect Enyel De Los Santos surrendered two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts in six innings. Gameday box score