8/21/11

Greenville 7, Savannah 3

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Even with one of the South Atlantic League’s top hurlers on the mound for the visiting Savannah Sand Gnats (74-51, 35-21), the Drive offense couldn’t be fazed Sunday at Fluor Field.  Despite Brandon Jacobs, Sean Coyle and Felix Sanchez all getting a day off, Greenville (68-58, 29-26) jumped all over Angel Cuan en route to a 7-3 victory in the series finale. All nine of the Drive’s batters recorded a hit during the game, as Cuan (10-3) was chased away after allowing seven runs on 14 hits – both season-highs for the right-hander – over 5.0 innings.  Although he surrendered a pair of home runs, including a solo shot to Wilfredo Tovar in the top of the first, Brandon Workman (4-7) strung together a strong 6.0 inning outing. With the exception of the two homers, Joe Bonfe added a two-run shot in the top of the fourth, Workman allowed just two other Savannah batters to reach base, by way of a single and a walk, while striking out seven. After quickly falling behind, the Drive answered in their first trip to the plate.  Three straight singles to begin the frame, culminating with a two-run single by Christian Vazquez, who was celebrating his 21st birthday.  Two innings later Greenville extended their lead as Xander Bogaerts led off with a double and scored as Henry Ramos followed with an RBI-single. The Sand Gnats tied the game in the top of the fourth on Bonfe’s two-run blast, but that was short-lived when Bogaerts’ lifted a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead.   Behind Michael Almanzar’s first home run in a Drive uniform in 2011 to leadoff the bottom of the fifth, Greenville crippled the Savannah.  The Drive added two more runs in the frame on Matty Johnson’s RBI-groundout, and Wilfred Pichardo’s two-out, run-scoring single. Pichardo and Ramos each collected three hits in the victory, while Johnson, David Renfroe, and James Kang each chipped in with a pair of hits.  Relievers Dennis Neuman and Tyler Lockwood combined to hold the Sand Gnats scoreless over the game’s final three innings, preserving the victory.

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