Drive Take Down Legends on Saturday Night

Suarez and Nishioka homer in victory

(Richard Shiro)

By Cameron White / Greenville Drive | September 1, 2018 11:14 PM

Greenville, SC - The Greenville Drive offense got going early on Saturday night at Fluor Field as they notched a 9-7 victory over the Lexington Legends.

Falling behind 3-0 after the top of the first inning didn't deter the Drive (37-31, 62-75), as they quickly worked their way back into the game. Kervin Suarez got his great night started with a leadoff 10-pitch walk, and after stealing second and taking third on an error, he came in on Tanner Nishioka's sacrifice fly to center.

Suarez then tied the game at three in the second with a two-run single to score Jordan Wren and Frankie Rios. Wren put the Drive ahead 4-3 in the third with a fielder's choice RBI to bring home Nishioka, who led off with a single.

Lexington (39-27, 76-58) tied the game at four in the fourth when Jeison Guzman smacked a solo homer off Enmanuel De Jesus, but the Drive answered right back to take the lead off Danny Hrbek (4-2). Samuel Miranda walked and later scored on a go-ahead single by Jarren Duran, and Nishioka followed by blasting a two-run home run over the 420-foot marker in center field for his 10th homer of the season.

That lead was extended to 8-4 in the sixth when Suarez led off with a solo home run to right-center. The long ball was his seventh of the year.

Lukas Young (1-4) relieved De Jesus with three scoreless innings to earn the win.

The Legends plated their three runs in the top of the first thanks to RBI doubles by Nick Pratto and Cal Jones as well as an RBI groundout by Sebastian Rivero. 

In the eighth inning, Lexington trimmed the Drive's lead to 8-6, but an RBI single by Pedro Castellanos in the bottom of the eighth proved to be crucial as the Legends threatened in the ninth. Nick Pratto led off with a solo homer, but Rio Gomez settled in and finished the final frame to record his first save.

Five Drive players recorded multi-hit nights. Castellanos went 3-5 at the plate, while Suarez and Nishioka drove home three runs in two-hit games. Duran and Wren collected two hits apiece as well.

Lexington was powered by four hits from Guzman atop the lineup.

Sunday night's game at Fluor Field begins at 6:05. Left-hander Jhonathan Diaz (10-8, 3.14) will make his final start of his excellent season for the Drive, and right-hander Collin Snider (5-6, 5.18) takes the mound for the Legends.

~Greenville Drive~

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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