Diaz Dominates in 2-0 Trash Pandas Win
Making his first Double-A start, Jhonathan Diaz took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in the best performance from a Rocket City Trash Pandas starter this season to lead the Trash Pandas to a 2-0 win over the Tennessee Smokies on Thursday night at Toyota Field. From his first pitch,
Making his first Double-A start, Jhonathan Diaz took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in the best performance from a Rocket City Trash Pandas starter this season to lead the Trash Pandas to a 2-0 win over the Tennessee Smokies on Thursday night at Toyota Field.
From his first pitch, Diaz was on his game as he struck out the first four Smokies hitters he faced to start the ballgame.
Rocket City broke through in the third as Anthony Mulrine led off the inning with a double and came around to score on an RBI ground out from Michael Stefanic. An inning later, the Trash Pandas doubled the lead on a towering 423-foot home run from third baseman Mitch Nay.
That proved to be more than enough support for Diaz. Between the third and fourth innings, he struck out four in a row once again. The first Tennessee batter to reach was a walk in the fourth inning.
In the fifth, Diaz retired the side in order then issued a one-out walk in the sixth to put a runner on. Levi Jordan followed with a double to left to break up the no-hitter and put the tying runs on base. Diaz rebounded to strike out Darius Hill for the second out. Nathan Bates came on in relief and got the final out to keep the Trash Pandas up 2-0.
Bates worked around base runners in the seventh and eighth inning to keep the shutout intact before Oliver Ortega (S, 1) nailed down his first save of the season with a scoreless top of the ninth.
Over 5.2 brilliant innings, Diaz (W, 1-0) gave up just one hit and two walks with 11 strikeouts, the most by any Trash Panda in a game this season, to earn the victory. Bates struck out two, walked three and gave up one hit over 2.1 relief innings to hold the lead. Ortega recorded two strikeouts in the ninth to complete the three-hitter for the Trash Pandas.
Offensively, Mulrine and Orlando Martinez each recorded a pair of hits for the Trash Pandas in the win while Mulrine also threw out two runners trying to steal in a strong game behind the plate.
The Trash Pandas (4-5) continue their series with the Smokies (4-4) on Thursday night. First pitch at Toyota Field is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT. Josh Caray will be on the call for 103.9 FM THE UMP and 730 AM SportsRadio.