Release: August 31, 2011
VESTAL, N.Y. Former Binghamton pitcher Scott Diamond (Guelph, Ontario) reached a new milestone in his historic ascent in professional baseball Wednesday afternoon. In just his third Major League Baseball start for the Minnesota Twins, Diamond notched his first victory as the Twins edged the Chicago White Sox 7-6 at U.S. Cellular Field.
He went six innings and allowed just three runs on three hits, departing with a 7-3 lead. The White Sox tightened the final score with three runs off Minnesota's bullpen. Diamond struck out five and walked three.
The Twins gave Diamond six runs in the first inning after providing just four combined runs in his previous two starts - both losses.
Diamond was sharp all afternoon. He worked out of trouble in the first frame, stranding a runner on third with a strikeout, strikeout and fly ball sequence. In the second inning, Diamond induced a double-play groundout to end a White Sox scoring threat. Chicago struck for two runs in the third on a two-out, two-run home run by Brent Lillibridge. Diamond limited the damage, however, by getting an inning-ending groundout from four-time all-star Paul Konerko. Diamond had struck out Konerko back in the first inning.
He then pitched perfect 1-2-3 fourth and fifth innings, thanks to a pair of groundouts, two fly balls, a strikeout and foul pop-out.
In the sixth, Diamond allowed a Konerko RBI double but stranded him on second with another strikeout and groundout. The White Sox scored one in the eighth and two in the ninth to make it interesting. Former Stony Brook pitcher and Twins' closer Joe Nathan saved the win for Diamond, creating a unique scenario of the two pitchers from America East programs playing pivotal roles in the victory.
With the outing, Diamond (1-2) lowered his MLB earned run average to 4.82. In 18.2 innings spanning three starts, Diamond has allowed 10 earned runs on 20 hits. He has nine strikeouts and six walks.
Quotes on Diamond's performance
"We made some big plays behind me. (Rene) Tosoni running into the wall, (Trevor) Plouffe's plays at short, Drew (Butera) calling an unbelievable game behind the plate. Just coming up with that big first inning really helped ease my mind."
"As soon as I stepped on the mound today, I was feeling the wind blowing around out there. The mentality coming into the game was to keep the ball on the ground and get some ground balls. Drew kept me calm behind the plate and talking with (pitching coach Rick Anderson) in between innings really helped just refocus everything."
"That's what Joe (Nathan) is known for is closing games. That's what always makes the game exciting is ninth-inning drama, but like he always does, he closed the game down and got us a win."
Manager Ron Gardenhire
"The kid (Diamond) thew the ball very very well for his first Major League win. The ball was flying early in the game ... we all saw that. It kept flying to left center field in the first inning. Diamond saw that and decided to throw the ball down, which is a good thing."
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