Edwin Diaz dazzles in his second Appy League start; OF Ray Michel just misses cycle
The Pulaski Mariners (2-4) took the series finale of a three-game set in a 7-1 victory over the Bluefield Blue Jays (3-3).
The right arm of M’s starter Edwin Diaz (1-0, 0.00 ERA) has been nothing but spectacular through two starts. He opened the season with six shutout innings in Burlington, giving up just one hit and striking out nine. Tonight, he was equally as impressive. The flame throwing Puerto Rican hurled five shutout innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out five Jays.
Fortunately for Diaz, the offense provided some early support in his second go-round.
After trading zeros through two-and-a-half innings, the M’s struck first with a three-run third. Singles by Jeff Zimmerman and Franklin Diaz got things started, and Ray Michel – making his first start of the series – grounded an RBI-double into the left field corner scoring Zimmerman. With runners in scoring position, Gabe Franca and Zach Shank both rolled groundouts to short, allowing Diaz and Michel to score on consecutive plays.
The Pulaski hitters weren’t done yet. In the fourth, third baseman Joe DeCarlo drew a walk and moments later came around to score on a Jesus Ugueto two-run blast – his first of the season.
Spotted with a five-run advantage, Diaz cruised through his five innings of work before handing it over to the bullpen. Cameron Copping came on in relief and threw two scoreless innings. Luis Pina allowed the only run of the ball game with one away in the ninth on a solo shot by Jays’ shortstop Dawel Lugo.
Michel earned co-player of the game honors – shared with Edwin Diaz – after his 3-for-3 performance. The slender, speedy outfielder launched his first home run of the season leading off the seventh which gave the Mariners a 7-0 lead.
The six through nine hitters for the Mariners provided all of the damage against the Jays, going 7-for-15 at the plate with a double, two home runs, five RBI’s, and six runs scored. Zimmerman was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored from the seven hole.
Shane Dawson (0-1, 5.63 ERA) took the loss for the Jays, giving up five earned runs in four innings. Chase DeJong pitched three innings in relief and allowed two runs (one earned).
Derrick Loveless and Dawel Lugo were both 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Bluefield offense. Loveless finished 8-for-13 with two doubles, a triple, and two home runs in the series.
Bluefield DH John Silviano – who launched a home run in each of the first two games – finished a quiet 0-for-4 in the finale.
Bluefield returns to Calfee Park July 13-15 for a three-game set.