SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – Big nights from Cesar Puello and Jefry Marte weren't enough to pull the Gnats out of an early hole Sunday night as Savannah fell 8-4 to Greenville in the rubber-game of a give game series at Historic Grayson Stadium. Savannah chipped away after Greenville raced out to a 6-0 lead, but could not overcome the Drive's early advantage. The Gnats are off Monday before embarking on an eight-game road trip to West Virginia and Lexington, returning home on Thursday, July 29.
The Drive (16-8/52-42) took control of the game with a five-run second inning against Savannah All-Star Jimmy Fuller. With two outs and the bases empty, the bottom of the order loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. Leadoff man SS Derek Gibson then smacked a two-run double down the left field line to put Greenville in front 2-0. The following batter, LF Vladimir Frias, chopped a ball to second baseman Alonzo Harris that should have ended the inning. However, 1B Alex Gregory couldn't handle Harris' low throw allowing two runs to score on the play. 1B Chris McGuiness' RBI double brought home Frias to make the score 5-0, Drive. Greenville added a run in the third for a 6-0 lead.
Marte and Puello combined to go 5-for-9. The two either drove in or scored every one of Savannah's four runs. In the fourth inning, CF Pedro Zapata doubled and Puello drove him home with a single to center. In the sixth, Puello was hit by a pitch and after a Marte single, eventually scored on Gregory's bases loaded walk. In the eighth, Marte singled and scored on Gregory's RBI groundout. In the ninth, Puello doubled home SS Wilfredo Tovar.
Puello was 2-4 with two RBI to extend his hitting streak to eight straight games. In his last eight games, Puello is hitting .355 (11-for-31).
Marte, with his second-straight three hit night, raised his July batting line to .348/.384/.594 (AVG/OBP/SLG).
Fuller gave up six runs, three earned on seven hits in three innings. The six runs he allowed were his most in any start in 2010, and his three innings equaled his shortest performance of the year.
The Gnats are off on Monday, and begin an eight-game road trip and a four-game series in Charleston, West Virginia on Tuesday night.