SoxProspects News

September 8, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Diaz dazzles as Salem falls in extras


9/8 Cup of Coffee: Meeting the opposite fate of their colleagues in Lowell, Salem found themselves on the wrong end of a walk-off courtesy of old friend Tyler Hill. Jhonathan Diaz (pictured) saved one of his best starts of 2019 for Saturday night, while Grant Williams led the Red Sox at the plate with a three-hit effort.  

-----

A year removed from leading off for Salem, Tyler Hill walked off the Red Sox to keep Wilmington's playoff dreams alive. Things were quiet for seven innings, thanks in large part to the efforts of Jhonathan Diaz. The Venezuelan left-hander went six shutout innings in which he allowed just two hits and struck out eight. However, things soon fell apart for the Red Sox as the Blue Rocks reached relievers Joan Martinez and Yoan Aybar for a combined four runs. 

Facing a three-run deficit in the ninth, Salem pulled through, thanks to some timely offense. Jerry Downs started things off with an RBI groundout that drove in Tyler Esplin, and Grant Williams followed with a single that drove in Tanner Nishioka. Garrett Benge then stepped to the plate as the would-be hero and smacked an RBI double that scored Williams and tied the game for Salem. Aybar then returned to the mound with a scoreless ninth to send the game to extras. In the top of the tenth, Devlin Granberg began the inning on second and soon moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Tyler Esplin then stepped to the plate and made contact, but Granberg was thrown out attempting to score from third.

Unfortunately for Salem, Wilmington succeeded where Salem failed, bunting a man over to third in order to set up Hill's heroics. At the plate Grant Williams set the pace for Salem, adding a double and a single to his ninth-inning hit. Esplin and Benge joined Williams by doubling. Also chipping in were Triston Casas, Victor Acosta, and Tanner Nishioka, who notched a pair of singles apiece. The fifth and final game of the season will be played Sunday in Wilmington. 

-----

Player of the Day: Since peaking with an 8.22 ERA in early May, Jhonathan Diaz has put in performance after performance to finish the regular season at 3.86. Diaz continued his strong end of the season Saturday night, and continued his strong playoff record despite the negative result. Since coming stateside in 2016, Diaz has yet to allow a run in a postseason appearance, now totaling 12 1/3 innings and 15 strikeouts. 

Photo Credit: Jhonathan Diaz by Kelly O'Connor

 
Copyright © 2003-2019 SoxProspects, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Email: info@soxprospects.com