Drive Bounces Back - WSPA.com

Drive Bounces Back

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Greenville Drive

The Greenville Drive (8-13) did everything right on Thursday night at Fluor Field, as they rode a 10-hit performance and great pitching to a 12-1 victory over the Lakewood BlueClaws (7-14).  With the win, the Drive were able to avoid a series sweep and snap a six-game losing streak.

With a 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the sixth, the Drive plated five runs to put the game out of reach.  After a hit by pitch and two walks loaded the bases with one out, Mookie Betts drew a walk to force in a run.  The walk chased Lakewood reliever Andrew Aizenstadt, but Jeb Stefan couldn't keep the runners stranded, as Jose Vinicio lined a single up the middle to score a run, and after a shallow flyout, Boss Moanaroa cranked a three-run triple off the right-center wall to push the lead to 8-1.

Greenville added four more runs in the eighth for good measure against Felix Santos.  Aneury Tavarez had the big hit of the frame, as he smacked a line drive to deep center for another three-run triple.  Drew Turocy came up two batters later and hit a double high off the wall in left to bring home another run.

Just as notable as the Drive's offensive outburst was its pitching.  Cody Kukuk (2-2) pitched five terrific innings, allowing just one run on one hit while walking two and striking out two.  Jason Garcia fired four brilliant relief innings to collect his first save of the season.  He gave up one hit and one walk while punching out three Lakewood hitters.

The Drive took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first against BlueClaws starter Jordan Guth (1-4).  Betts walked to begin the frame and advanced to second on a bunt by Vinicio.  Two batters later, Moanaroa laced a double to left-center which plated Betts.

Lakewood's lone run of the night came in the top half of the fifth when Art Charles deposited a Kukuk offering over the wall in right field for a solo shot.

Greenville answered right back in the bottom half with a pair of runs.  Dreily Guerrero led off with a double, advanced to third on an error that allowed Betts to reach, and came in to score on another error after Betts swiped second.  After a strikeout, Cody Koback lined a double to left-center to score Betts.

Moanaroa led the way for the Drive, picking up two hits and driving in four.  Koback and Turocy also collected a pair of hits, while Tavarez drove in three. 

The Drive will begin a four-game series with the Delmarva Shorebirds, a Baltimore Orioles affiliate, on Friday night at Fluor Field, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM.  Greenville will send RHP Justin Haley (0-2, 2.93 ERA) to the mound, while LHP Josh Hader (1-1, 2.25) takes the ball for Delmarva. 

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