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Monday, August 20, 2012
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Four El Paso Diablos pitchers combined to walk nine Grand Prairie AirHogs hitters on Monday and hit another, but they also held the AirHogs to just one hit and one run, as their hitters scored six times in the fourth to pace El Paso to a 6-1 win at QuikTrip Park.
With the win, the Diablos (43-42) moved over .500 for the first time this season, and closed to within a game and a half of the AirHogs (46-42) in the South Division standings, while idle Laredo (43-43) is now two games back).
Grand Prairie took the lead in the second, with a leadoff walk to Trent Lockwood, a double by John Alonso (the lone AirHogs hit of the night), and an RBI groundout by Alberto Espinosa.
But El Paso rallied in the fourth off John Brownell (7-6). Reid Fronk turned a leadoff single into a double when Brian Myrow slipped in left, and no one covered first base on Mitch Einertson’s would-be sacrifice bunt, turning that into a single. Welington Dotel then fisted a single to right to tie the game, and Fernando Valenzuela hooked a double to right to give the Diablos the lead.
Jermy Acey then walked, before Daniel Nelson got a 2-0 count and hammered a grand slam to the opposite field, breaking the game open.
That was all the offense El Paso got the rest of the night, but the Diablos were effectively wild on the mound to make those runs more than enough.
Starter David Casillas (6-0) was one shy of the league record with seven walks and also hit a batter, but he made a big comeback from down 3-0 to Yasutsugu Nishimoto with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, getting two called strikes before Nishimoto grounded to second.
The righty departed with one out in the seventh, and Steven Evarts got Keanon Simon on a comebacker before walking Brian Myrow. But righty Justin Harper got Andres Rodriguez on a comebacker, before working around a one-out walk in the eighth, ending the frame with another comebacker.
Friday’s starter Scott Hodsdon then preserved the rest of the tired Diablos bullpen, throwing a quick 1-2-3 ninth to finish things off.
Notes: The one-hit is a season low for the AirHogs…Nelson finished 3-for-4…Only one Airhogs hitter in the starting lineup, Nishimoto, did not reach base at least once…El Paso pitching had only two 1-2-3 innings…The Diablos won the season series 9-8 after winning seven of the last 10 between the two teams…Dotel took away the best chance for the AirHogs to get another hit, diving towards right-center to rob Alonso in the sixth…The AirHogs left 10 men on base, while El Paso left only four…The Diablos’ Ramon Garcia was the only player from either team to not appear in the series at least once.
The 2011 American Association Champion Grand Prairie AirHogs continue their homestand with a three-game series against the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks, starting on Tuesday, August 21, at 7:05. It is Twofer Tuesday, with all fans buying a ticket receiving one for next Tuesday’s game. 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.