Greenville first baseman Tucker Tubbs blasted a solo home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the eighth to break up a 2-2 tie as the Charleston RiverDogs dropped the opener of a four-game series, 3-2, on Thursday night at Fluor Field.
The solo homer tarnished a solid performance from RiverDogs starter Nick Green (3-4, 2.94) who took the loss despite allowing three runs (two earned) while scattering five hits across 7 1/3 innings of work. The Colorado right-hander struck out six while pitching around three walks.
The RiverDogs (26-27) fall to a game below .500 and seven games back of the first-place Drive (33-20) who remain control in the Southern Division first half standings with 17 games left to play. Four of the first five games between the Yankees and Red Sox affiliates in the SAL have been decided by just a run with each team claiming two narrow victories each.
Charleston leapt out to a lead right away, capitalizing on two Greenville errors to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st. Right fielder Estevan Florial singled to lead off the game before third baseman Angel Aguilar doubled off the top of the monster in left field to put runners at second and third with nobody out. Centerfielder Blake Rutherford hit a groundball to second that was mishandled by Steven Reveles who short hopped a throw to first for a pair of errors on the same play that made it 2-0 RiverDogs.
Green faced the minimum through three innings and had allowed just one hit before Greenville tied the game in the fourth with the help of a RiverDogs defensive mishap. Lorenzo Cedrola reached on an infield single to start the frame. Right fielder Ryan Scott singled to the left-center field gap on a ball that got by left fielder Ben Ruta for an error that let it roll all the way to the wall to let Cedrola to score. Left fielder Tyler Hill tied it at two with an RBI knock to right field on the next play.
Rutherford and Aguilar each collected two-hit games for Charleston.
The RiverDogs continue the Spinx Battle for the Palmetto State against the Drive on Friday night at 7:05pm from Fluor Field. Charleston will send righty Freicer Perez (1-2, 4.28) to the bump as Greenville counters with young southpaw Jhonathan Diaz (1-0, 3.60). Charleston returns home for a brief three-game homestand against Asheville starting on Tuesday at The Joe.