The Charleston RiverDogs once again fell victim to the big inning, giving up five runs in the second to put Greenville in control early as the RiverDogs dropped the four-game set and the season series to the Drive with an 8-5 defeat in Sunday’s finale at Fluor Field.
In the second, Greenville sent ten men to the plate and jumped out to a commanding 5-0 lead over Charleston. It was the second night in a row the RiverDogs (64-55, 22-28) had a five spot put up on them, and the fourth time that Greenville (63-56, 26-24) scored three or more runs in a single inning on the weekend as the Drive once more used the big inning to clinch the season series with their 11th win over the RiverDogs this year.
With the loss, the RiverDogs fall to a season low six games below .500 in the second half heading into their next series with first-place Augusta.
Alex Palma went 3-for-4 to lead the RiverDogs who didn’t go down quietly after falling in the early hole. The Venezuelan outfielder collected his first hit, a single, with two outs in the fourth to put runners on the corners for first baseman Vince Conde who singled to right to bring home two and make it 5-2.
After Greenville pushed their lead back to five with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, the RiverDogs added two more in the fifth. Gosuke Katoh walked to lead off the frame before four singles would drive in runs with RBI knocks collected by Chris Gittens and Palma to make it 7-4.
Greenville put it further out of reach for the RiverDogs with a run in the fifth, but Katoh’s RBI single in the eighth made it a three-run ballgame.
Anyelo Gomez (4-3, 4.83) took the loss for Charleston allowing seven runs (six earned), including the big second inning, on eight hits with three strikeouts.
Victor Diaz (2-5, 1.80) racked up six punch outs to record seven outs for the Drive in relief to pick up the win.
After an off day on Monday, the RiverDogs start a three game stint against the Augusta GreenJackets, the Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, on Tuesday with the first pitch set for 7:05 pm at Lake Olmstead Stadium. In the opener, the RiverDogs will send RHP Erik Swanson (6-5, 3.49) with the GreenJackets’ starter to be announced. The game will be broadcast on WTMA 1250 AM and online at riverdogs.com.