Timely Pitching and Hot Bats Help Greenville Drive Blank Rome

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Marcelo Mayer turned in his first multi-home run game of his career while the Greenville Drive’s (20-19) stable of pitchers stifled Rome Braves (20-19) batters at key moments throughout the game, ultimately helping the Drive earn their fifth win in a row and blank the Braves, 9-0.

A combination of Drive starter Angel Bastardo and relievers Casey Cobb, Maceo Campbell, and Joey Stock held the Braves to just 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, ultimately stranding 13 Braves runners on base. Collectively, the stable of pitchers for the Drive struck out 11 batters while allowing just six hits.

Mayer, red-hot in the month of May, chipped in his sixth home run of the month (bringing his season total to seven) and his third home run in the last three games while the bottom third of the Drive’s lineup: Miguel Ugueto, Eduardo Lopez, and Alex Erro combined for five of the Drive’s seven RBIs.

It was Mayer’s first home run of the game which started the scoring for the Drive, as he lifted a two-out, opposite field home run to deep left field in the top of the first, giving the Drive an early 1-0 lead. Lopez would chip in RBI-double in the second inning, to plate Eddinson Paulino to give the Drive a 2-0.

Angel Bastardo, coming off South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week honors, spun a solid four innings for the Drive tonight, allowing just three hits, no runs, four walks and picking up six strikeouts. He tossed a one-two-three inning in the third, keeping the Drive momentum alive as the game flipped to the middle innings.

Cobb tossed the fifth and sixth for the Drive allowing just one hit and a walk while fanning two batters.

With game still hanging at 2-0, the Drive led off the seventh with three straight singles, the final one from Ugueto which plated Bryan Gonzalez to give the Drive a 3-0 lead. Erro would chip in an RBI single later in the inning to score Paulino and increase the lead to 4-0. With runners on second and third later in the inning, Braves pitcher Ryder Jones balked, scoring Max Ferguson, giving the Drive a 5-0 lead.

Mayer led off the eighth with his second homer of the night, crushing a 1-1 pitch to right field, giving the Drive a 6-0 lead and commencing a four-run inning for the Drive. Ugueto chipped in a sacrifice fly; Erro slapped an RBI-single and Paulino scored on wild pitch, ending the Drive’s scoring and giving them a 9-0 lead.

Campbell tossed the seventh and eighth innings for the Drive, picking up three strikeouts, while allowing two hits and three walks. He’d be relieved by Stock in the ninth who allowed just one walk without giving up a hit or a run, preserving the Drive’s 9-0 victory.

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Written by the Greenville Drive.