The RiverDogs suffered their second straight loss on Friday night, as they were unable to solve Lexington starting pitcher Luis Cruz and fell 7-0 with 4,932 in attendance at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. Even with the loss, the RiverDogs (15-5) stayed put in first place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division.
The RiverDogs offense couldn't get anything going against Cruz (1-1) all night. The Puerto Rican lefty threw seven scoreless innings, allowed just two hits, walked one, and struck out six. He retired the first eight batters he faced and the RiverDogs were never able to mount a serious scoring threat. Murilo Gouvea pitched the final two innings to close out the win for Lexington. The closest the RiverDogs came to scoring was in the ninth inning when Gary Sanchez (1-3, 2B, BB) doubled with two outs, but Gouvea then retired Tyler Austin to end the game.
The Legends (10-12) took the lead early in the game and never looked back. In the first inning, Zachary Johnson (2-5, HR, 3 RBI, 2 runs) blasted a two-run homer off Charleston's Will Oliver to make the score 2-0. In the third, they added three more runs, starting with an RBI double by Johnson. An RBI single by Roberto Pena brought in the second run of the inning and a bases loaded walk to Emilio King gave Lexington a 5-0 lead after three innings. They added one more run in the seventh on an RBI groundout by Drew Muren and another in the eighth on a homer by James Howick (2-4, HR).
The RiverDogs now move on to Hickory, North Carolina for a three-game series with the Crawdads. The first game of the series will pit Charleston's Jose Campos (3-0 1.23 ERA) against Hickory's Victor Payano (2-0 2.33 ERA). First pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.