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May 26, 2011 at 5:19 AM

Garcia flexes muscle, Greenville offense intimidates Kannapolis

5/26 Cup of Coffee: After the parent club put up 14 runs in a resounding victory Wednesday, Portland and Salem’s offense was minimal as they were clipped in close contests. Greenville, however, put up 11 runs in a win over Kannapolis.

Despite some solid pitching, Portland was dropped by the rival New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 2-1. Alex Wilson was superb in his 6.0 innings of work, allowing an unearned run on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6. Cesar Cabral picked up the loss, allowing the winning run on 3 hits and a walk in his 1.2 innings of relief. Seth Garrison tossed 1.1 scoreless innings of the bullpen, striking out 2. The Sea Dogs grabbed their lone run of the contest in the first on a Tim Federowicz RBI single. The Fisher Cats tied the contest in the fifth, aided by a costly error by shortstop Jon Hee. Portland never mounted a threat after the first, not advancing a runner past second for the remainder of the contest. Jeremy Hazelbaker was 2 for 3 atop the lineup to lead the Sea Dog offense.

Trying to mount a late charge, the Salem Red Sox came up short in their attempt to take over first place, losing a close 3-2 contest to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX). Drake Britton dropped to 1-5 after allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4 in his 4.0 innings. Mitch Herold followed Britton out of the bullpen, tossing 3.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 1. Kendal Volz also added a perfect inning of relief, notching 1 punch out. Myrtle Beach took a 2-0 lead in the first, and held the Red Sox scoreless all the way until the seventh. Reynaldo Rodriguez cracked a solo home run to put Salem on the board and cut the Pelican’s lead in half. The Pelicans answered right back in the bottom half of the seventh, plating another run to once again carry a two run advantage. Kolbrin Vitek’s RBI single in the eighth brought the Red Sox within one once again, but the team left a runner at third in the ninth to dash their hopes of a comeback. Vitek was 2 for 4 to lead the Salem offense.

The Drive’s powerful offense came on late to chase away the Kannapolis Intimidators (CHW) 11-7. Manuel Rivera received the start for Greenville, hurling 4.0 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits and a walk, striking out 5. Chris Martin picked up his second victory in as many appearances for his 4.0 scoreless innings of relief, striking out 3 while allowing just a hit and a walk. Jordan Flasher added an inning of relief, getting roughed up for 3 runs on 3 hits while striking out 1. Down 3-0 after the top of the first, the Drive got one back in the bottom of the first on a Jose Garcia bases loaded walk. Sean Coyle’s RBI double in the second brought Greenville to within one at 3-2. The Drive were held at bay until the fifth, when Henry Ramos roped a two out RBI single to plate two runs and tie the game at 4-4. In the seventh, Jose Garcia hammered a two run home run to give Greenville a 6-4 advantage. The Drive would put the contest away in the eighth, as Coyle smacked a two run home run and Garcia added his second home run of the game, a three run shot that put Greenville in front 11-4. Kannapolis rallied in the ninth, scoring three but were ultimately unable to overcome the sizeable Drive lead. Miles Head returned from suspension with a three hit evening, raising his average to .408 in the month of May.

Player of the Night: Jose Garcia, who went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, 2 home runs and 6 RBI in Greenville’s 11-7 victory over Kannapolis.