Keury De La Cruz hit two home runs, including one in the 11th inning to lead the Greenville Drive to a 3-2 win over the Charleston RiverDogs in South Atlantic League action on Sunday evening in front of 3,455 at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
The RiverDogs dropped their third straight game, losing three out of four to the Drive, and fell to 31-18 on the season, while the Drive got over .500 at 25-24.
De La Cruz's (2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBIs) second homer came against reliever Pedro Guerra (3-1) to lead off the eleventh and gave his team back a lead they had lost in the ninth inning. Tyler Wilson then picked up his first save of the year with a scoreless bottom half.
The RiverDogs had tied the game with two outs in the ninth when Francisco Arcia doubled and Reymond Nunez (1-4, RBI) singled to score him against reliever Matty Ott (4-2).
In a complete reversal of the last two nights, both pitchers were on top of their game and held off both offenses. The only run through the first five and a half innings came on De La Cruz's first homer, a shot over the right field wall in the fourth. That was the only blemish on the ledger of Charleston's Bryan Mitchell, who allowed just two hits and three walks and struck out nine in six innings. Greenville's Yeiper Castillo was just a little better through the first five innings, allowing two hits and no runs with three walks and one strikeout.
In the sixth, the RiverDogs broke through against Castillo when Mason Williams singled and later came around to score on a groundout by Gary Sanchez, tying the game at 1-1. Greenville re-took the lead in the sixth against new pitcher John Brebbia when a walk and a sacrifice brought up Blake Swihart, who singled back through the middle to score the go-ahead run.
After taking the lead, Greenville's bullpen set about trying to make sure it would stand up. Nefi Ogando pitched the seventh and the eighth and allowed only one hit in two scoreless innings. Ott then came in for the ninth and got the first two outs before the RiverDogs sprung to life.