By: Alex Morales
The El Paso Diablos were leading 7-4 heading into the top of the eighth, but closer Ray Silva allowed Grand Prairie to tie the game at seven. In the bottom of the 11 inning, El Paso had the bases loaded with Alberto Espinosa at the plate and he took a 0-1 fastball over the left field fence for a walk-off grand slam to give the Diablos an 11-7 win Wednesday night at Cohen Stadium.
The Diablos (19-44) have now won two in-a-row against the first place Airhogs after dropping four games to Fort Worth. With the win tonight, El Paso has now won their third series of the year and they have now won two out of their last three series.
Grand Prairie (41-21) came out swinging as they scored four runs in the first inning of Diablos starting pitcher Reymond Cruz to take a 4-0 lead after a half inning of baseball. The Airhogs did not score again until the top of the eighth off of Silva.
Cruz after giving up the four runs in the first frame and after settling down he put up five consecutive zeros on the scoreboard. Cruz finished the night pitching six innings allowing four runs, all earned on seven hits. He walked three and struck out two and he did not get a decision in the game.
The Diablos scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run home run by first baseman Javier Brito. He hit a hanging breaking ball off of Grand Prairie starter David Nathanson over the left field fence.
El Paso added one more in the second and scored two runs in the bottom of the third and fourth inning to take a 7-4 lead. There was no score from either team until the top of the eighth inning.
Silva stayed in to pitch the remainder of the game and settled down after giving up those three runs in the eighth. All three of the runs given up by Silva were charged to reliever Jon Plefka.
In the bottom of the 11 inning, second baseman Albenis Machado tripled to right center with one out, to put the winning run 90 feet away from home plate. The Airhogs responded by intentionally walking right fielder Nelson Teilon and first baseman Javier Brito to load the bases for El Paso.
Third baseman Johan Garcia grounded the first pitch he saw from Kyle Gunderson to first baseman John Alonso who threw home for the force out. The next batter was Espinosa and on a 0-1 count he turned on fastball that he sent over the left field fence for the walk-off grand slam.
Silva was rewarded with the win as he finished the night pitching three and one-third innings allowing no runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out two.