July 16, 2017 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Delmarva Shorebirds
SALISBURY, MD - Matthias Dietz had the best start of his young career as the 21-year-old prospect overwhelmed the Rome Braves for six innings, leading the Delmarva Shorebirds to a 3-0 win on Saturday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
Dietz (2-7), who waited 24 starts to get his first career win last Saturday, notched back-to-back Ws with a three-hit gem. The Orioles' No. 12 prospect walked one and struck out four on 81 pitches.
Ian Anderson (4-5) took the loss, only lasting 1.1 innings in his first action since June 26. Anderson gave up one run on four hits, walking two and striking out one.
Tyler Erwin pitched three perfect innings, striking out two, out of the bullpen on the way to his first save of the year.
After going without a run for 11 extra innings on Thursday and Friday, the Shorebirds (11-11, 40-50) broke the ice in the first. Jake Ring guided a soft liner into right for a one-out single and stole second. Preston Palmeiro walked, and Collin Woody hit a sharp grounder to third that ate Kurt Hoekstra up, loading the bases. Reminiscent of his game-tying single on Thursday, Alejandro Juvier lined a single through the hole on the left side. Ring came in to score to make it 1-0.
The Braves (7-12, 45-44) couldn't figure out Dietz, only managing three singles on the night. Alan Crowley rolled a grounder up the middle for a one-out hit in the third but only got to second. Rome got back-to-back singles from Randy Ventura and Lucas Herbert to lead off the fourth, but Hoekstra grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to stymie the rally. Dietz got Jordan Rodgers to line out softly to short for the third out.
Dietz had one wild pitch in the third inning and didn't walk anybody until getting two outs in the sixth. He induced a popout to second from Herbert to lock up his seventh quality start.
Delmarva finally got some breathing room in the bottom of the eighth. Palmeiro led off with a base hit to center, then after a strikout Juvier dropped a single into right. Milton Ramos then slashed a line drive into right center, over the outstretched glove of Isranel Wilson and to the warning track. Palmeiro and Juvier scored, and Ramos dove head first into third with a two-run triple, giving the Shorebirds a 3-0 lead to all but end it.
Juvier finished 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, while Ramos went 2-for-4 with a two-run triple.
The Braves' visit to Delmarva was their first since 2003, the franchise's first season in Rome. Current Braves pitching coach Dan Meyer was a pitcher on that team. The Shorebirds had not been to Rome since 2014.
The Shorebirds look to make it two in a row on Sunday evening as Jhon Peluffo (5-3, 3.34) gets the start against the Braves' Bryse Wilson (6-4, 2.54). First pitch is 5:05 p.m. with gates opening at 4:00. The first 500 kids 12 and under through the gates on Sunday will receive a Manny Machado emoji t-shirt. It's also a Perdue Strike Out Hunger Sunday; fans who bring two canned food items will receive an Upper Reserved ticket for $3. After the game, Junior Shorebirds members can run the bases, presented by Chili's Grill & Bar. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports AM 960 and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 4:50 p.m. with Will DeBoer on the call.