Jose Medina Homers Again in Friday Night Loss to Greenville
GREENVILLE, SC - Jose Medina appears to be quite comfortable at Fluor Field in Greenville this weekend. Columbia's outfielder had not hit a homer all season leading up to Thursday's series opener. Medina has now crushed solo home runs in back-to-back games, most recently in the ninth inning on Friday night. The Fireflies dropped the contest, though, to Greenville, 9-4.
Columbia (13-16, 37-58) has recorded a homer in four straight games now. That's two behind the season-best steak of six straight games from July 1-6. Better yet, the Fireflies have smacked seven homers over their last six games. Medina has two, of course, during that span and Mark Vientos (2) and Shervyen Newton (3) have hit the others.
Medina also roped a double into the right-field gap on Friday and finished 2-for-4 at the plate. The offense wasn't the problem at Fluor Field. The Fireflies fell behind early and never led. The game was close until Greenville (14-15, 46-53) ignited for five runs in the seventh. Columbia must now win on Saturday and Sunday to split the four-game set.
The big five-run bottom of the seventh was punctuated by Tyler Dearden's grand slam. The blast set off fireworks - quite literally - at Fluor Field. It was the first grand slam allowed by the Fireflies since May 1.
Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio had a nice evening at the plate. The 18-year-old walked, tripled and scored a run in the loss. Walter Rasquin, who hit behind him, also finished with a pair of hits.
The Drive plated two early runs against Columbia starter Jose Butto (L, 4-8) in the second inning, but didn't really rattle the 21-year-old the remainder of the evening. Butto entered the tilt with the league's fourth-best ERA since May 28 and yielded just three runs over five frames. Butto wasn't at his very best on Friday, but the right-hander gutted through five.
Alex Scherff (W, 4-8) picked up the win for the home team. After the Fireflies knocked Scherff out in the first inning of his start on July 3, the Red Sox prospect posted six strong innings against Columbia. Scherff allowed one run and punched out four.
Bottom 2: Alan Marrero doubles in Devlin Granberg ... With Esplin at third, Cole Brannen grounds out to second base, scores the runner. GVL 2, COL 0
Top 6: With runners at second and third, Mark Vientos grounds out to Greenville third baseman Brandon Howlett, Ronny Mauricio scores. GVL 2, COL 1
Bottom 6: Esplin hits a two-run homer to right. GVL 4, COL 1
Bottom 7: Esplin walks with the bases loaded ... Tyler Dearden hits a grand slam to right. GVL 9, COL 1
Top 8: Mauricio triples, plates Guillermo Granadillo from first ... Walter Rasquin grounds out to third baseman Howlett, Mauricio scores from third. GVL 9, COL 3
Top 9: Jose Medina rips solo homer over the left-field wall. GVL 9, COL 4
NEXT GAME: Sat., July 20
Location: Fluor Field
TIME: 7:05 ET
PROBABLES: RHP Daison Acosta (1-1, 2.70) vs. RHP Chase Shugart (5-1, 1.73)
TUNE IN: FirefliesLiveStream.com
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