By Patrick Fretwell / Greenville Drive | July 17, 2017 3:01 PM ET
Greenville, SC - Behind six strong innings from Jhonathan Diaz and a productive first turn at-bat, the Greenville Drive defeated the Hickory Crawdads 3-1 in the rubber game of a three-game series on Monday at Fluor Field. The Drive have now won eight of their last nine games.
After a minor hiccup when Brallan Perez smacked a first-inning solo homer, Diaz (4-3) was lights out for the Drive (12-12, 53-40) on the day. The southpaw allowed just three hits and the one run over six innings while striking out five. He has posted three consecutive starts in which he allowed two runs or fewer.
Greenville bounced back from the early 1-0 deficit to score three times in the bottom of the first. Santiago Espinal and Steven Reveles began the inning with back-to-back singles. Espinal then scored on a fielder's choice from Tyler Hill, and a Crawdads error extended the inning. Bobby Dalbec and Granger Studdard followed with RBI singles off Walker Weickel (2-2) to make the score 3-1.
Both teams then exchanged zeroes for the remainder of the afternoon. Algenis Martinez shut down Hickory batters in the seventh and eighth, while Hunter Smith picked up his seventh save by striking out a pair of Crawdads in the final frame.
Hill and Tucker Tubbs each notched two hits in the game for Greenville.
After an off day, the Drive will begin a seven-game road trip against a pair of Northern Division foes. The three-game series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers, an affiliate of the Miami Marlins, kicks off on Wednesday night at 7:00. Left-hander Kyle Hart (3-2, 2.05) takes the mound for the Drive in the opener.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.