Greenville, SC - The Greenville Drive (28-28) were looking to right the ship on Monday after dropping two straight to end their previous series. Consider that mission accomplished, as the Drive received a complete performance in a 7-3 victory over the Lexington Legends (24-33) at Fluor Field.
Joe Gunkel (2-0) set the tone for the Drive with an outstanding start, hurling a career-high six innings and giving up just one run on five hits. He struck out seven, which matched a career-high set on April 11th, and didn't issue a walk.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when the Drive broke through against Lexington starter Matt Tenuta (2-6). To surely no one's surprise, Jantzen Witte did the honors, as he cranked a two-run homer off a second story balcony in left-center field for his sixth long ball of the season.
Lexington plated their lone run off Gunkel in the top of the fifth on Samir Duenez's RBI single, but the Drive answered right back in the bottom half when Aneudis Peralta grounded a single up the middle to score Jake Romanski, who reached on an error.
Romanski rudely greeted Legends reliever Alex Black with an RBI double to make the score 4-1, and an error in left field allowed another run to score on the play.
The Drive added single runs in the seventh and eighth on an RBI double to center by Forrestt Allday and a solo homer to right by Kendrick Perkins, his third of the year.
Jonathan Aro allowed a pair of Lexington runs in the eighth inning, but still struck out four over the final three innings to record his fifth save.
Allday, Peralta and Wendell Rijo each collected two hits for Greenville. Duenez, Alfredo Escalera and Ramon Torres all had two hits and an RBI for Lexington.
Game two of the series begins at 7:05 on Tuesday night. LH Trey Ball (1-4, 8.55 ERA) starts for the Drive, and the Legends will send RH Luke Farrell (1-3, 6.18) to the mound.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.