Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Amarillo Blanked, Held to Two Hits in Loss

Diaz Fans 8 over 5.0 IP in Loss
(John Moore)
April 13, 2024

MIDLAND, Texas (April 13, 2024) – Amarillo suffered its first shutout loss of the season after a 2-0 defeat to the Midland RockHounds on Saturday night. RockHounds pitchers sat down 19 straight at one point, and 23 of the final 25 batters to secure the win and a 3-2 series

MIDLAND, Texas (April 13, 2024) – Amarillo suffered its first shutout loss of the season after a 2-0 defeat to the Midland RockHounds on Saturday night. RockHounds pitchers sat down 19 straight at one point, and 23 of the final 25 batters to secure the win and a 3-2 series lead over the Sod Poodles.

The matchup of top 30 organizational prospects on the mound lived up to the billing early. Amarillo's Yilber Diaz and Midland's Ryan Cusick allowed just three base runners total through the first three innings. Caleb Roberts drew a walk and A.J. Vukovich tallied the first of two Sod Poodles hits for the night in the second inning. The only hit allowed by Diaz through his first three innings was a leadoff single in the third before sitting down each of the next three he faced.

Diaz worked into a little more trouble in Midland's half of the fourth. The first three batters to all reached base, the latter being a RBI single to open Saturday's scoring. The D-backs no. 16-rated prospect then struck out the next three - all swinging - and taking care of the final two in just six pitches.

Another leadoff walk issued by Diaz came around to hurt the right-hander in the bottom of the fifth. A single and stolen base had two RockHounds in scoring position with nobody out. Again, Diaz proceeded to strike out the next two and looked poised to minimize damage. Instead, a two-out RBI single doubled Midland's advantage to 2-0. Cusick worked his fifth 1-2-3 inning as he made quick work of the Sod Poodles in the sixth.

Left-hander Emailin Montilla replaced Diaz and also issued a couple of free passes during his first inning of labor. Like Diaz did a couple of times, Montilla worked out of the situation with a pair of strikeouts to leave both stranded.

The second Midland pitcher for the night produced similar results to Cusick. Colin Peluse helped to make it 17 straight Amarillo batters sent back in order after Vukovich's single in the second inning. Conor Grammes relieved Montilla after just one inning and made it four straight punchouts for Amarillo pitchers to start the seventh.

Neyfy Castillo ended the streak of 19 Sod Poodles being retired when he drew a two-out walk in the top of the eighth. Serving as the potential tying run, Logan Warmoth flew out to center field to keep it a 2-0 Midland lead.

Grammes made short work of the RockHounds in the bottom of the eighth as he worked a three-up-three-down frame to send the game to the bottom of the ninth and the top of the Sod Poodles order due up.

Tim Tawa earned just the second hit of the game for Amarillo when he recorded a one-out double. Following an Ivan Melendez strikeout, Deyvison De Los Santos stepped to the plate as Amarillo's final hope after his heroics on Friday night. The D-backs no. 14-rated prospect narrowly missed a double down the right-field line that would have put the tying run in scoring position. Instead, a strikeout two pitches later ended Amarillo's comeback bid.

RHP Dylan File (0-0, 4.50 ERA) will take the ball for Amarillo as the team looks to secure a series split and avoid dropping the first two series of the year on Sunday afternoon. First pitch from Momentum Bank Ballpark is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.


KING OF THE YIL: RHP Yilber Diaz made his first career start against the Midland RockHounds on Saturday and matched Yu-Min Lin for the longest start by an Amarillo pitcher in 2024. The D-backs no. 16-rated prospect worked 5.0 IP, and had eight strikeouts to go with five hits allowed and a pair of earned runs. Both runs came off leadoff walks in the fourth and fifth innings that eventually made their way around the bases. Through his first two starts, Diaz has racked up eight strikeouts in each game after tying for the organizational lead in strikeouts during the 2023 season with 140 across two levels.

DON'T CRY BECAUSE IT'S OVER: Deyvison De Los Santos' hit streak to begin the season came to an end on Saturday night after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. After his first eight games to start the year, he ranks T-3rd in the Texas League in hits with 12 runs and he is T-4th in the league with seven runs scored.

TWO: The two hits by Amarillo were just the 16th time the team had been held to two or fewer hits in a game and the first since May 18th, 2023 on the road in Frisco.

TIMMY TWO BAGS: Tim Tawa tied the all-time record by collecting his 58th extra-base hit with a double in the top of the ninth inning. He matched Eduardo Diaz who also had 58 XBH in a Sod Poodles uniform during his 131 career games with Amarillo during the 2021 and 2022 seasons. With another hit on Saturday night, Tawa sits just four hits away from being Amarillo's all-time hits leader. He would pass Juan Centeno who had 162 hits for Amarillo in 149 career regular season games.

ZERO, NADA, ZILCH: The Sod Poodles were kept off the scoreboard for the first time in 2024 and the 23rd time overall after falling to the RockHounds 2-0 on Saturday night. The last time Amarillo was shut out came on August 31, 2023, also at the arms of the RockHounds.

OIL PAN CUP-DATE: Through the first five of 24 games against Midland, the RockHounds hold a 3-2 advantage on the season-long rivalry. Amarillo will need to win 10 of the final 19 games against Midland to keep the Oil Pan Cup in Amarillo for the fourth time in five years. Amarillo won the Oil Pan Cup in 2019, 2021, and 2023 with the RockHounds only winning the season-long series in 2022. Amarillo currently holds a 62-48 record record against Midland all-time.