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Diaz Spins Gems, Sod Poodles Take Opener in Arkansas

Sod Poodles Magic Number Down to 7
September 6, 2023

Little Rock, Arkansas (September 5, 2023) – The Amarillo Sod Poodles got the better of the Arkansas Travelers in game one of their series from Dickey-Stephens Park. After falling behind, Amarillo scored two runs in the top of the fourth, all they would need thanks to a combined pitching performance

Little Rock, Arkansas (September 5, 2023) – The Amarillo Sod Poodles got the better of the Arkansas Travelers in game one of their series from Dickey-Stephens Park. After falling behind, Amarillo scored two runs in the top of the fourth, all they would need thanks to a combined pitching performance that held the Travs to three total hits, taking the series opener 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Making his first start in Double-A, D-backs' no. 20-rated prospect Yilber Diaz worked around a hit in each of the first two innings he toed the rubber to keep the Travs scoreless. The Sod Poodles put runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the second inning but were unable to push across the first run of the night.

Following a one-out walk and stolen base, a ground-out moved Jonatan Clase to third base where he was able to give Arkansas a one-run lead on a wild pitch. Amarillo answered back immediately in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back singles had the first two runners aboard with a fielder's choice leaving runners on the corners. Neyfy Castillo knotted things up at 1-1 with a RBI single with two aboard for Jancarlos Cintron. A ground rule double down the right-field corner scored the go-ahead run for Amarillo.

Working with a lead, Diaz retired all three he faced in order in the fourth and allowed a walk and two-out single in the fifth but left the mound without any further damage done in his debut.

Michel Otanez replaced Diaz to start the bottom of the sixth and faced just two batters before leaving the game with some discomfort. After a walk and strikeout by Otanez, Emailin Montille took over on the mound for Amarillo. A wild pitch and groundout had the potential tying run on third before Montilla left him stranded by picking up his first strikeout of the night.

After taking the lead in the top of the fourth, Amarillo managed just one baserunner until Camden Duzenack singled with one out in the top of the seventh. Duzenack wouldn't get past first with the next two behind him being retired to keep it at a one-run Amarillo lead. Montilla worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning, adding a pair of strikeouts to end his night after retiring all five that he faced. Christian Montes De Oca came on for the bottom of the eighth and proceeded to walk Clase. A strikeout and stolen base by the man tied for the Texas League lead in the category in 2023 put him into scoring position with one out. A ground-out once again moved him to third which is where he would be left standing as Montes De Oca ended his first inning of work with his second strikeout of the inning.

Castillo was plunked to begin the top of the ninth on the very first pitch of the at-bat to put the leadoff man on base as Amarillo looked to tack on some insurance. Instead, the next three batters put balls into play but were all retired with Castillo being left stranded at third.

Montes De Oca was back out for the bottom of the ninth and retired all three that he faced, collecting his seventh save of the year and the series-opening win for Amarillo.

After securing the win to open the series, Amarillo will look to build off their four-game win streak on Wednesday when D-backs no. 19-rated prospect Dylan Ray makes his second Double-A start. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. from Dickey-Stephens Park.

NOTES:

DIAZ DEBUT: Fresh off being named Northwest League Pitcher of the Week last week, Yilber Diaz looked good in his Double-A Debut. The D-backs' no. 20-rated prospect worked five innings allowing just three hits and one earned run while striking out six. All three of the hits he allowed were singles and the right-hander worked around three walks to allow the one run.

SIX PACK + 2: Beth Beer extended his hit streak to eight games with a 1-for-4 night at Dickey-Stephens Park on Tuesday night. Beer was named Texas League Player of the Week last week after dominating Midland, hitting .526 (10-for-19) with four home runs and eight RBI. The eight-game hit streak is the longest of the season for Beer and tied for the second-longest active streak in the Texas League currently. Over the streak, Beer is hitting .467 (14-for-30) with seven XBH and eight RBI while also scoring 12 runs.

M & M: Emailin Montilla and Christian Montes De Oca combined to work the final 3.2 IP on Tuesday night. Montilla was credited with his first hold of the year, striking out three of the five batters that he faced. Montes De Oca earned his seventh save of the season, working the final two innings and allowing just one base runner via a walk. The pair combined with Michel Otanez and Yilber Diaz held the Travs to just three hits on the game. It was the eighth combined three-hitter Amarillo pitchers have allowed in 2023 and the 23rd overall in team history, the last coming on July 16th vs. Frisco.

TUES-DEY: Over his last 41 games since July 14th, Deyvison De Los Santos is hitting .337 (57-for-169) with 11 home runs, 11 doubles, two triples, 30 RBI, and 37 runs scored. 18 of his 33 multi-hit games this year have come over his last 40 games played. Over the same stretch, De Los Santos ranks among the best in all of Double-A in XBH (T-2nd, 24), total bases (3rd, 105), SLG (3rd, .621), runs (4th), home runs (T-5th along with Neyfy Castillo and one behind Ivan Melendez), hits (T-6th), OPS (10th, .979), and AVG (10th).

TWOS-NEY: Neyfy Castillo turned in the only multi-hit game for the Amarillo lineup, finishing the game 2-for-3 with a RBI. It was Castillo's 18th multi-hit game of the year.