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Diamond fires seven scoreless innings for Twins, gets second MLB win
Former BU ace stifles Pujols, Hunter, posts 5-0 victory over Angels in finest pro performance
May 8, 2012Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—In his first big league start of the season and eighth of his career, former BU ace Scott Diamond did something no Minnesota Twins pitcher has done this spring and in the process, won his second career game, 5-0 over the Los Angeles Angels from Target Field. Diamond struck out a MLB-career-high six and allowed just four hits in a career-high 7.0 innings, becoming the first Twins starter to toss six scoreless innings in 2012.
The 25-year-old left-hander dealt 102 pitches, 62 of which were strikes. He was especially effective against the Angels 3-4 hitters, nine-time all-star Albert Pujols and four-time all-star Torii Hunter. The pair went 0-for-6 against Diamond, who retired Pujols on three infield groundouts and struck out Hunter twice. Diamond also retired three-time all-star Vernon Wells twice in three at-bats. He had 12 groundball outs, six strikeouts and three fly ball outs to record his first home win in a Minnesota uniform.
“I guess if you draw a baseball game up, that’s how you do it,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You score early, give your starter a little breathing room and then he takes it pretty much strike one all night long. He kept pounding the strike zone and moving it in and out. He was in command of the baseball game. I think he’s coming off a lot of confidence from Triple-A, and he carried it right into the big leagues. That’s pretty good.”
Diamond allowed a single to his first batter of the game but quickly erased him on a double play grounder. He struck out two in the second inning and added another strikeout in the third. In the fourth frame, Diamond worked around a one-out double with two straight groundouts. He then pitched three straight 1-2-3 innings to end his most successful night in professional baseball by retiring 11 straight hitters. The home fans gave him a standing ovation as he exited after the seventh. He retired Pujols on a grounder and got Hunter looking in the sixth and then notched his sixth and final strikeout to start the seventh before a groundout to short and line-out to third ended the inning.
“I’m scratching my head,” Hunter said. “I don’t know how that happened. Hey, the guy pitched a good game. Give him his props.”
See a list of how Diamond has fared against elite-level MLB players here
The Twins gave Diamond run support with three runs in the first inning and two more in the fourth.
“We wanted to work in and attack hitters,” Diamond said. “I think we stuck to that game plan all night long. It seemed to be pretty effective, so we kept working with it. I didn’t mix in a ton of changeups, but I was able to keep them off-balance by working in and out.”
Diamond began the spring with Triple-A Rochester and went 4-1 with a 2.60 earned run average before getting his third call-up to the big club. His next slated start will be Sunday against Toronto at Target Field.
Diamond made school history last summer by becoming the first BU player to compete at the highest level of professional baseball (debut on July 18) and in his second call-up during the season, notched his first MLB victory with six strong innings against the White Sox on August 31.
Diamond was a Bearcat from 2005-07 and as an engineering major, was the consummate student-athlete. He was the America East Rookie of the Year in 2005 and totalled 14 wins in 37 collegiate starts for coach Tim Sinicki’s program. He returned to campus last December 3 to be honored by the athletics department for his achievements and received his bachelor’s degree one week later.