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BlueClaws Drop Playoff Opener, 3-1

BlueClaws Drop Playoff Opener, 3-1

GREENVILLE, SC. -- Hot-hitting first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez drove in two runs to lead the Greenville Drive to a 3-1 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws in Game 1 of the South Atlantic League Championship Series on Monday night.

Game 2 of the best-of-5 series is Tuesday night at Fluor Field, with a 7:05 p.m. start. RHP Julio Rodriguez will start for the BlueClaws. Rodriguez has allowed three earned runs in 42 innings since his promotion from Williamsport on July 27.

Loser Trevor May saw his consecutive scoreless innings streak in the playoffs (2009-2010) end at 20.1 innings on Rodriguez's two-out single in the third. May gave up one run in five innings on four hits and two walks. He struck out eight. In two playoff games this year, May has 21 strikeouts in 11.2 innings and a 1-1 record, allowing just one run.

With the Drive leading, 2-0, Lakewood left fielder Leandro Castro homered in the seventh inning, but Rodriguez homered in the eighth to wrap up the scoring. Castro also had a bunt single and a stolen base in four at-bats. Three Greenville pitchers held Lakewood to four hits.

Rodriguez drove in five runs as Greenville advanced to the championship series with two straight wins over Savannah last week. He has two homers in the playoffs this year.

The Drive, who led all the Minor League clubs with 241 stolen bases, had three in the opening game -- all with May on the mound. They also had three caught stealing and one runner picked off first base by May.

The BlueClaws dropped Game 1 for the first time in their playoff history.

Wednesday is a travel day (Greenville is 700 miles south of Lakewood). The series shifts to Lakewood's FirstEnergy Park on Thursday night (7:05 p.m.) for Game 3. Tickets are available by calling 732-901-7000. Games 4 and 5, if necessary, are also in Lakewood, on Friday and Saturday nights.

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