Savannah 6, Kannapolis 2
The Savannah Sand Gnats scored first on Maikis De La Cruz’s two-run homer in the third inning and never trailed in defeating the host Intimidators 6-2 on Friday night.
Savannah (32-22) kept Kannapolis (19-33) off the scoreboard for eight of nine innings behind stalwart pitching from starter Jake Kuebler (four innings), winner Julian Hilario (4-2) and usual closers Beck Wheeler and Bret Mitchell. They each tallied two strikeouts without walking a batter.
After De La Cruz (3 for 5, two RBIs) hit his second homer in two games against Kannapolis and second of the season, the Sand Gnats added one run in the fourth inning on Kevin Plawecki’s single and stolen base, and Jeff Reynolds’ two-out single.
With one down in the fifth, Yucary De La Cruz doubled and Maikis De La Cruz followed with a single. Brandon Nimmo singled home one De La Cruz, and Jayce Boyd — leading the Class A South Atlantic League now with a .354 average — singled home the other De La Cruz on the team’s fourth consecutive hit for 5-2.
The De La Cruz duo figured in the game’s final run in the seventh. With one out, Yucary singled and took second on third baseman Michael Johnson’s fielding error. Maikis singled, and Yucary stole third base, then scored on catcher Mike Marjama’s errant pickoff attempt.
Maikis De La Cruz: 3-for-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 RBI
Brandon Nimmo: 1-for-4, 1 RBI
Jayce Boyd: 1-for-4, 1 RBI
Kevin Plawecki: 1-for-4, 1 SB, 1 R
Yucary De La Cruz: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 3 R, 1 SB
Jake Kuebler: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 2 ER, 2 K
Julian Hilario: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 2 K
Beck Wheeler: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Bret Mitchell: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K