Drive Top Rome, 6-4, on Thursday
ROME, Ga. - The Greenville Drive took an early lead with three runs in the first two innings, before adding three runs late en route to a 6-4 victory over the Rome Braves on Thursday morning at State Mutual Stadium.
The Drive (13-19) opened the game with two runs in the first and one more in the second. Tyler Esplin drew a one-out walk in the first and Triston Casas followed two batters later with his sixth home run of the season, giving the road team a 2-0 lead. In the second, Alan Marrero homered for the third time this season, this one a solo homer, to make it a 3-0 Drive advantage.
Rome (14-18) made it a one-run game with two runs in the bottom of the second. An RBI single by Griffin Benson and an RBI groundout by Ariel Montesino pulled the home team closer at 3-2.
The Braves then claimed the lead on two runs in the sixth. Greg Cullen was hit by a pitch and Trey Harris homered to left to give Rome a 4-3 lead.
Greenville answered immediately, putting up two runs in the seventh. The Drive loaded the bases with one out thanks to three walks. Casas came through two batters with a two-out, two-RBI single to left to put the Drive back in front, 5-4.
Greenville tacked on one in the eight on Brandon Howlett's second home run of the season, a solo fly to center, for a 6-4 advantage. Logan Browning closed it out for his first save of the season, retiring the final five batters of the game in order with three strikeouts.
Thaddeus Ward (2-2) earned his second win of the season, as he allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits with seven strikeouts and a walk in 6.0 innings pitched. Tanner Lawson (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing a run on two hits and a walk against two strikeouts in 2.2 innings pitched.
Casas led the Drive at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a homer, a run and four RBI. It was his first three-hit game of the year and a season-high RBI. Howlett added a 2-for-4 day with a run and an RBI, while Marrero was 2-for-3 with a homer, a run, an RBI and a walk.
The series concludes on Friday with first pitch at 7:05. Drive sends RHP Yasel Santana (0-2, 6.48 ERA) to the bump, while Rome sends RHP Jose Olague (2-3, 4.10 ERA).
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