By Jerry Del Priore
Fireflies second baseman Michael Paez clubbed two homers and drove in four en route to a 7-2 win over the Greenville Drive (Boston) and first place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division Thursday night at Fluor Field at the West End.
The former Brooklyn Cyclone smashed a three-run round tripper in the third inning and later blasted a solo shot over the left-field wall in the eighth. Paez is currently hitting .284 with six dingers and 39 RBI in 208 at-bats in 60 contests.
Columbia right-handed starter Harol Gonzalez (4-4, 4.11 ERA), another ex-Cyclone, was superb, allowing two earned runs while whiffing six over 7.2 frames.
The Fireflies (39-26) have been on a torrid stretch, going 18-6 over their last 24 games, dating back to May 24th, when they trailed the Drive by six.
Columbia, the mid-level, full-season Single-A affiliate of the New York Mets, holds a half game lead over Greenville (39-27) with three tilts left in the first half and now control its own destiny. If Columbia wins its final three games, the team will clinch a playoff berth.