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Diaz grand slam lifts Akron over Fishers, 7-4
MANCHESTER — Lanky shortstop Juan Diaz smashed a grand slam off the video board, and Akron posted a 7-4 win over the Fisher Cats in Friday night's series opener.
Akron scored five runs off Deck McGuire in the first inning, but the Indians affiliate didn't exactly cruise to an easy win. New Hampshire loaded the bases and scored in the ninth, sending the tying run to the plate against Aeros reliever Shawn Armstrong. Brad Glenn scored on Brian Bocock's grounder, but the Fisher Cats, a night after playing 17 innings against Erie, ran out of late-inning magic.
Brian Bocock and Koby Clemens each drove in two runs for the Fisher Cats (43-69), who lost their third straight. McGuire (5-12) worked into the sixth, finishing with a line of seven hits, six earned runs, two walks and five strikeouts.
Akron reliever Kyle Landis (6-4) allowed one hit in relief to earn the win. Teammate Loek Van Mil, a 7-foot-1 righty, relieved starter Toru Murata in the fifth. In the sixth, New Hampshire manager Sal Fasano summoned 6-foot-7 righty Trystan Magnusson from the bullpen. For an inning, two of the tallest pitchers in pro baseball pitched before 5,712 fans on Scout Night.
Western Division leader Akron improved to 67-45. Diaz went 2-for-4, and teammate Thomas Neal had three hits for the winners. Brian Van Kirk, Ryan Goins and Clemens all had doubles for the Fisher Cats.
The series continues tonight with New Hampshire righty Chad Jenkins (5-9, 4.96 ERA) taking the mound at 7:05. Righty Danny Salazar, called up from Class A, makes his first start for the Aeros.
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