Diaz's historic night leads the Aeros
BOWIE, MD – Led by a record-setting night from shortstop Juan Diaz, the Akron Aeros downed the Bowie Baysox 11-8 at Prince George’s Stadium Sunday night.
Akron had dropped nine of its last 12 games, including six of the previous seven, but Diaz’ herculean effort helped the Aeros (51-38) snap a three-game losing streak to maintain their 2 ½ game lead over Harrisburg.
Diaz tied a team record with eight RBI’s Sunday night, hitting a grand slam while going 4-for-4. With Sunday’s scoring outburst, Diaz raised his season RBI total to 37. Diaz's eight RBIs topped his previous single game high by three, while his four hits matched his personal best.
The eight RBIs tied a franchise record set by Scott Morgan (1999) and Matt McBride (2009).
In a high scoring affair that saw both teams combine for 30 hits, the Aeros raced to a 9-3 lead through the first four innings. Diaz grounded an RBI single in the first inning off Bobby Bundy (2-11), and added a two-run double to left in the third. In the fourth, Diaz came up with two outs and the bases loaded and crushed the first pitch he saw off Baysox reliever Zach Clark for a grand slam.
The Baysox (43-45) put their best efforts toward mounting a comeback against the Aeros bullpen and scored a pair of runs off Kyle Landis and Bryan Price in the sixth and seventh innings to pull within two runs and put the score at 10-8. Thomas Neal added a run in the eighth with an RBI double for the Aeros, extending the lead to 11-8. Diaz, not surprisingly, was intentionally walked following Neal’s double.
Aeros righthander Jose De La Torre (7-0) earned the win with 2 1/3 innings of relief, in which he allowed just one run. Preston Guilmet closed the game in the ninth to earn his 11th save.
The Aeros will conclude the three-game set at Bowie with an 11:05 AM matinee on Monday morning. RHP Paolo Espino (3-2, 3.40) will start for the Aeros, while RHP Chris Tillman (NR) is slated to start for the Baysox.