Greenville, SC - In the final home game of the regular season at Fluor Field on Thursday, the Greenville Drive continued their recent dominance by routing the Rome Braves 12-1. With the win, the Drive completed a sweep of the three-game series and extended their winning streak to eight.
The win also gives the Drive 78 victories on the season, which matches the franchise record set in 2011.
The Drive (37-29, 78-57) wasted no time in jumping out in front, as they scored three times in the bottom of the first. Santiago Espinal began the frame with a single to push his hitting streak to 10 games, and Ryan Scott followed with his 14th homer of the season, tying him for the team lead. Isaias Lucena added an RBI double in the inning as well.
An RBI double by Tucker Tubbs and a sacrifice fly from Lucena in the third extended the lead to 5-0 against Alan Rangel (2-6), and a two-run homer by Jagger Rusconi in the fifth distanced the Drive even further from the Braves (33-32, 71-64).
On a night where the offense was clicking from the get-go, Hildemaro Requena (11-3) continued to pitch lights-out baseball for the Drive. The right-hander shut down the Braves over six innings while allowing just two hits and six strikeouts, and he hasn't allowed an earned run in his last four starts.
With his 11 wins, Requena is now tied for third in Drive history in single-season wins with Teddy Stankiewicz, who accomplished the feat in 2014. The Drive are now 8-0 in Requena's starts this year.
The Drive didn't let up late in the game, scoring in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings as well. Jerry Downs lined an RBI single up the middle in the sixth, and Granger Studdard cranked an opposite-field home run over the Green Monster in the seventh.
A three-run eighth was headlined by Bobby Dalbec, who belted his 12th homer of the season, a two-run shot to left-center. Lucena drove in his third run of the night with a groundout in the frame.
Rome ended the Drive's shutout attempt in the ninth as Leudys Baez hit a two-out RBI single to center.
Dalbec reached base five times in the victory, and he notched a pair of hits. Downs led Greenville with three hits on the night, while Scott, Studdard and Tubbs added two hits apiece.
The Drive finish the regular season home schedule with a 41-29 record at Fluor Field, and their wins total at home is tied for the league lead with Greensboro.
The regular season concludes with a four-game series against the Asheville Tourists, a Colorado Rockies affiliate. First pitch for Friday's series opener in Asheville is set for 7:05. The Drive will start left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez (4-4, 3.81), and the Tourists will send right-hander Rico Garcia (1-2, 2.45) to the mound.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.