August 22, 2007 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Greenville Drive
Greenville, SC - The Greenville Drive (25-35, 54-73) have seen better times. For the second straight night the Drive outhit the Augusta GreenJackets (34-25, 84-45), but once again lacked a key hit as they left 10 runners on base in a 6-2 loss, extending their losing streak to seven games.
Daniel Bard (3-5), who has experienced control issues for much of the second half of the season, got off to a great start, sitting Augusta down in order in the top of the first, including two strikeouts. However, things turned sour quickly.
Augusta tagged the right-hander for five runs, three earned, before he recorded an out in the second and was pulled from the game. Brett Pill led off the inning with a solo homer. The next seven batters all reached base, resulting in four more Augusta runs and Bard\'s exit.
Bard\'s mound opponent had a much better day, however. Spartanburg native Kevin Pucetas started for Augusta and put together a workmanlike performance. He allowed one run on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five to earn his 15th victory. Three straight singles by Kristopher Negron, Aaron Reza, and Reid Engel accounted for the Drive\'s only run off Pucetas.
The Drive bullpen continued to provide solid relief, as four pitchers combined to allow one run over the final eight innings. Chris Jones tossed four perfect innings, striking out three after relieving Bard. Joshua Papelbon\'s scoreless inning streak came to an end in the top of the ninth as Augusta added an insurance run. It was the submarine-style pitcher\'s first run allowed in 7.2 innings, spanning eight appearances.
Aaron Reza led the Drive offense that totaled 10 hits, going 3-for-4 at the plate. Three other Greenville batters recorded a multi-hit game in the loss.
The Drive and GreenJackets conclude their three-game series Thursday night with first pitch set for 7:05 PM at West End Field. Right-hander Joseph Guerra will toe the rubber for Greenville as Augusta counters with lefty Clayton Tanner.
Thursday night will also feature $1 drinks in the Spinx 500 Club and the 300 Picnic Plateau. Tickets to all Drive home games can be purchased by calling (864) 240-4500 or by visiting www.GreenvilleDrive.com.
NOTES: LF Reid Engel, RF Matt Sheely, and SS Kristopher Negron each had two hits...1B Lars Anderson was promoted to the Lancaster JetHawks (Advanced-A) following Wednesday night\'s game...Attendance was 3736