Right fielder Estevan Florial belted his second home run in as many nights to help pad a Charleston lead in the sixth, but the RiverDogs coughed up a late lead to fall 5-4 to Greenville in walk-off fashion in 10-innings on Saturday night at Fluor Field.
Florial’s leadoff blast in the sixth traveled a projected 432 feet according Trackman and was his tenth of the season, making him the 28th player in Charleston’s franchise history dating back to 1980 to record a double-digit home run and stolen bases campaign, accomplishing the feat in his first 64 games of the season. Outfielder Ramon Flores was the last to join the list, recording 11 each in 125 games in 2011.
Greenville catcher Roldani Baldwin drove in the game-winner with the walk-off single in the 10th. The Drive rattled off three consecutive singles off Charleston’s closer Garrett Mundell (0-3), who suffered the loss. Hobie Harris yielded two runs in the eighth that tied the ballgame at four apiece, walking two and giving up a pair of singles. The RiverDogs (36-37, 2-1) bullpen have now allowed six runs over the last two games after yielding just nine over the previous 20 games spanning 58 1/3 innings.
The Drive (42-30, 1-2) took the early advantage with a pair of runs in the third, collecting a couple of hits and capitalizing on a Charleston error to add the second run.
The RiverDogs got on the board with two outs in the fourth when catcher Donny Sands deposited a solo homer on the top of the monster, his first of the season, to cut the deficit to 2-1.
In the fifth, Charleston rallied with three straight two out hits to take the lead. Third baseman Mandy Alvarez and shortstop Hoy Jun Park each singled before second baseman Diego Castillo roped a triple into the right-center gap, giving Charleston a 3-2 lead.
Florial cranked his team-leading tenth homer to start the eighth and make it 4-2. It was the fourth time the 19-year-old Dominican went deep to lead off an inning this season.
The RiverDogs went just 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position, leaving seven men stranded in the contest. They had a run cut down at the plate in the third when Brandon Wagner tried to score from second on an Alvarez double. Charleston left a pair stranded in the top of the tenth after Park walked to leadoff the frame.
Brian Keller struck out eight across five innings in his first start following the All-Star break, giving up just two runs (one earned) on three hits. The Wisconsin native tossed 87 pitches to get through the game. The no-decision effort snapped a streak of five straight quality starts.
-per Charleston RiverDogs