Greenville drove in eight runs in the first two innings to power the Drive to a 10-3 victory over the Charleston RiverDogs in the series finale in front of 4,632 on Sunday evening at Joe Riley Park.
Shortstop Diego Castillo drove in all three RiverDogs runs, going 2-for-5 from the two-spot in the order to generate the only offense for Charleston (25-24) who settled for a split of the series with the Drive (30-18). The two teams combined for just five runs over the first three games of the series before the 13-run outburst in Sunday’s finale. The RiverDogs sit 5.5 games back of first-place Greenville in the Southern Division standings with 21 games to play in the first half.
An error by third baseman Angel Aguilar set the tone for the game early in the first as designated hitter Lorenzo Cedrola reached first on the error. Diehl struggled with his command against centerfielder Chris Madera, walking him to put two men on. A double steal was called by the Drive and both runners moved up safely without a throw. Left fielder Tyler Hill brought in the two runners with an RBI single.
Charleston answered right back one run in the bottom of the fist. Center fielder Estevan Florial led off with a triple then scored on a RBI ground out by Castillo.
The Drive collected six more runs on six hits, breaking the game wide open in the top of the second. Hill collected two more RBI for Greenville with a two-run double that made it 6-1. Charleston starter Phillip Diehl's night came to a close at the end of the inning after he surrendered eight runs on seven hits.
Charleston tried to cut the deficit in the third. First baseman Brandon Wagner got hit by a pitch to lead off the inning then advanced to second from a single by designated hitter Carlos Vidal. Castillo collected two more RBI with a single to centerfield that got past Chris Madera allowing both runners to score.
Raynel Espinal came in for relief in the third inning and tossed through five innings and surrendered just one run in the fourth. Right fielder Ryan Scott doubled to score Madera who led off the inning with a single.
Hobie Harris saw action in relief as a RiverDog for the first time this season following the call up from extended spring training. Harris tossed two innings of one run ball on just one hit and striking out three.
Jhonathan Diez (1-0, 3.60) collected his first win of the season in his first appearance in the SAL. He went five innings, allowing just three runs on six hits. Lefty Phillip Diehl (4-1, 4.33) suffered his first loss of his professional career after he surrendered eight runs in two innings of work.
-per Charleston RiverDogs