Michael Paez Blasts Columbia into First Place

By Jerry Del Priore

Michael Paez led Fireflies with two homeruns Thursday night.
Michael Paez slammed two homers Thursday night.

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.


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