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Friday, June 08, 2012
EL PASO, Texas – After stalling at two runs for five innings on Thursday night, the Grand Prairie AirHogs opened up a big early lead against the El Paso Diablos on Friday, scoring a season-high 17 runs on a season-high 20 hits en route to a 17-3 win at Cohen Stadium in the second game of a four-game series.
Keanon Simon smacked the second pitch of the game for a triple to right-center off Colin Allen (0-3), and scored on Chris McMurray’s RBI groundout.
The AirHogs (11-9) did not score any more in the first, but two bases-loaded at-bats in the next two innings broke the game open. With one out in the second, Simon lined a single to right for two runs, and when he was caught in a rundown between first and second, Yasutsugu Nishimoto dashed home to give Grand Prairie a 4-0 lead. An inning later, Mike Brownstein ripped the first pitch he saw for a two-out, bases-clearing double to put the AirHogs up by seven.
Josh Strawn (2-0) was the beneficiary of the early runs, as he retired the first 11 men he faced before Enrique Cruz hit a two-out double in the fourth . The righty got through that inning but ran into trouble in the fifth, giving up three runs on four-straight one-out hits to put the Diablos (4-17) on the board before getting out of further trouble.
His catcher, Chris McMurray, re-upped the AirHogs’ lead in the sixth, smacking a two-run double to left-center to knock out Allen and make it 9-3. McMurray then scored on Greg Porter’s groundout to fully answer the three-run Diablos fifth.
After two singles and two wild pitches by Geivy Garcia in the eighth gave Grand Prairie one more run, Trent Lockwood launched a two-run homer to left to give the AirHogs’ their fourth three-run inning of the night, but they still were not done – a four-run ninth was still to come as Grand Prairie batted around for the first and only first time in the game.
Strawn ended up with a eight-hit, complete-game effort, his first CG win as a professional and his first nine-inning effort. He struck out seven and walked one, fanning Jordan Marks on his 112th pitch of the night to end it.
Notes: Eight of the nine AirHogs had at least one hit, all nine reached base safely at least once, eight scored at least one run and seven drove in at least one…The AirHogs’ previous season highs were 12 runs on 16 hits on May 20, also a game started by Strawn…Nishimoto had a season-high four hits, while Porter also had four and Simon and Lockwood each had three…El Paso fired manager Jorge Alvarez on Friday and replaced him with former Toronto Blue Jays manager Tim Johnson.
The 2011 American Association Champion Grand Prairie AirHogs continue their four-game series with the El Paso Diablos on Saturday, June 9, at 8:05 p.m. The AirHogs return home on Monday for a twinbill with the Laredo Lemurs with Game 1 at 6:05 p.m. All games are aired live and for free on Ustream by clicking on the link on the AirHogs’ home page or visiting http://www.ustream.tv/channel/airhogs-baseball with selected contests aired on Time Warner Cable’s Texas Channel. For information on tickets, promotions, advertising, and other opportunities with the AirHogs, check out the Web site at www.airhogsbaseball.com, or call the QuikTrip Park office at (972) 504-9383.