A three-run rally in the first inning was later accompanied by home runs for Reymond Nunez and Dustin Fowler in a 6-2 Charleston RiverDogs win at the Greenville Drive on Monday night at Fluor Field at the West End in South Atlantic League action.
Charleston improves to 29-35 while Greenville drops to 30-33. The RiverDogs take a 1-0 lead in this three-game series with a victory in the opener.
The RiverDogs jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the top of the first inning. Greenville’s Trey Ball walked Michael O’Neill and Tyler Wade to begin the game. Aaron Judge doubled to score O’Neill for the first run. Groundouts by Miguel Andujar and Jackson Valera allowed Wade and Judge to come in and add to Charleston’s lead.
Greenville scratched the scoreboard in the third to trim the difference to 3-1. Forrestt Allday hit a one-out double against Luis Severino and scored from second base on Jake Romanski’s double.
Nunez went deep to push the RiverDogs to a 4-1 lead during the fourth. On a 1-2 pitch, Nunez blasted a leadoff solo shot to left-center field. It was his first RiverDogs home run this season and the 21st home run for Nunez over his three stints with Charleston.
The Drive threatened in the fifth inning and only managed to score one run. Two walks and an error on a sacrifice bunt immediately loaded the bases. Romanski grounded into a double play, starting when Severino threw home to retire Jordan Weems at the plate. However, a wild pitch did score Aneudis Peralta and bring Greenville within 4-2.
In the sixth inning, Charleston extended the lead to 5-2 after another home run. Fowler connected on the first pitch of the inning for a solo home run, his second of the season and the second RiverDogs leadoff blast in the game.
The RiverDogs added an insurance run in the eighth for a 6-2 lead. Eduardo de Oleo got on base with a one-out single and advanced to third base when Nunez reached on an error. de Oleo was driven in on a single by Gosuke Katoh.
Severino evens his record at 2-2 with the victory. He allowed two runs in 5.1 innings pitched and recorded a game-high six strikeouts. Ball surrendered five runs and takes the loss, falling to 1-5 for Greenville. Charleston also picked up scoreless relief from Evan Rutckyj and Angel Rincon.
COMING UP: Game two of this three-game series is scheduled for 7:05pm on Tuesday. RiverDogs LHP Ian Clarkin (2-3, 3.86 ERA) will face Drive RHP Jamie Callahan (2-5, 6.79 ERA). The RiverDogs return home to start the second half on Thursday, June 19 in a nationally-televised game on CBS Sports Network against the Kannapolis Intimidators on another Budweiser Thirsty Thursday, presented by 95SX, with $1 drafts and DJ Natty Heavy. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com. If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide onwww.riverdogs.com and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.