SALISBURY, MD - In a back-and-forth affair, the Greenville Drive scored six unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings to catapult past the Delmarva Shorebirds 9-6 on Monday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
With the Shorebirds (15-21) up 6-3 in the top of the sixth, Ryan Scott was hit by a pitch with one out. Chris Madera followed with a single, bringing Tyler Hill to the plate. Hill smashed a three-run bomb to left center, the fifth home run in the game between the two teams, getting the Drive (24-12) back even, 6-6.
Greenville kept the foot on the gas in the top of the seventh. Yoan Aybar and Carlos Tovar led off with singles, and Santiago Espinal took a pitch off the hand to load the bases. Jagger Rusconi dropped a soft line drive into center to bring home Aybar with the go-ahead run. Scott then raked a double into the left field corner, scoring two more. Rusconi was thrown out at the plate trying to score a third run on the play, but the Drive settled for the three and a 9-6 advantage.
The Shorebirds got the tying run to the plate in the seventh and put a man in scoring position with nobody out in the ninth, but Greenville relievers Algenis Martinez and Hunter Smith pitched out of trouble both times, delivering Delmarva its fifth straight loss. The Shorebirds are now 0-5 on the six-game homestand.
Martinez (1-0) earned the win in relief with 2.1 scoreless innings. Steven Klimek (2-1) took the loss after giving up the three in the seventh; he gave up four hits in 2.2 innings out of the 'pen. Smith's two-inning save was his first of the season.
The Drive pounced on the board in the top of the second inning. Hill singled to center with one out, and after a strikeout Tucker Tubbs pounded an opposite-field home run to right. In the third, Espinal went deep for a solo shot - his first career home run - giving Greenville an early 3-0 lead.
Alejandro Juvier got the Shorebirds back into the game, leading off the third with a home run to right, his first of the season. In the fourth, Gerrion Grim bashed a line-drive home run to the parking lot behind left field. The 436-foot bomb got Delmarva within 3-2.
The Shorebirds busted out for a four-spot in the bottom of the fifth. Chris Clare singled with two outs, and Collin Woody followed with a base knock of his own. Up came Grim, who swung at the first pitch and laced a double down the left field line. Both runners scored and the 'Birds had a 4-3 lead. Preston Palmeiro followed with his own double to left center, scoring Grim. Daniel Fajardo then hit a short bloop to second base; Rusconi dove for it but it kicked out of his glove, and Palmeiro scampered in from second to make it 6-3.
Grim finished the day 2-for-4 with the double, homer, two runs, and three RBIs. Clare had a three-hit day with a run scored, and Woody and Palmeiro each had two hits for the Shorebirds.
Fajardo threw out the first three would-be basestealers and would've had a fourth if not for a dropped on-time throw at second base. He has now gunned down 15-of-42 (35.7 percent) baserunners this season.
Hill finished 2-for-4 with the three-run homer to lead the Drive. Scott and Tubbs each plated a pair.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Delmarva's Alex Wells suffered his worst outing of the year, allowing six runs on six hits in 5.1 innings, including three home runs. His ERA ballooned from a league-best 1.19 to 2.52. Greenville's Robby Sexton fared no better, giving up six runs on 11 hits in 4.2 frames.
The Shorebirds will try to salvage the homestand finale against the Drive on Tuesday morning as Lucas Humpal (1-3, 3.89) takes on spot-starter Kyle Hart (1-0, 0.00). First pitch is 10:35 a.m., with gates opening at 9:30. In addition to being the second Field of Dreams Day presented by Chesapeake Health Care, Tuesday is a McDonald's Two for Tuesday. A McDonald's receipt unlocks buy one, get one free Upper Reserved tickets at Perdue Stadium. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports AM 960 and the MiLB First Pitch app begins at 10:20 a.m. with Will DeBoer on the call.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.