Glenn Otto turned in six shutout innings of one-hit ball and Charleston pitching kept the Braves off the board until the ninth inning in a 3-1 victory over Rome in Wednesday afternoon’s series-clinching finale from State Mutual Stadium.
The win secures a 3-4 road trip to open the season for the RiverDogs, who return to Riley Park for their home opener on Thursday night against Kannapolis.
Otto (1-1), the Yankees No. 20 prospect according to MLB.com, did not allow a baserunner until the third and held Rome (4-3) hitless until the fourth. The Houston, Texas native got into hot water in the latter when he walked back-to-back hitters before catcher Carlos Martinez bounced a clean single into right field to load up the bags with one out in a 1-0 game. Otto squeaked out of the biggest threat of the afternoon with a double play ball to keep the shutout going. The Rice University product finished with five strikeouts to four walks.
Charleston (3-4) took a 1-0 lead in the second, the sixth time in the first seven games the RiverDogs have scored first. Third baseman Chris Hess ripped a double down the left field line and later scored on a throwing error by second baseman Derian Cruz.
The RiverDogs didn’t find any breathing room until the sixth when they added a couple of tallies off the bullpen. Oswaldo Cabrera and Leonardo Molina each stroked singles to open the frame and catcher Jason Lopez was hit by a pitch to put the bases full with nobody out. Center fielder Evan Alexander and designated hitter Frederick Cuevas each put balls into play to plate runs and stretch the Charleston lead to 3-0.
The Charleston bullpen’s scoreless inning streak came to an end in the ninth at 17 2/3 straight when Rome scratched across an unearned tally on an error that extended the inning. Charleston relievers have still only allowed one earned run in their first 22 innings to start the year.
After starting the season 0-for-21, Molina collected a single and a double in his final two at-bats. Hess also racked up his third multi-hit game this season.
Charleston returns for Opening Night at The Joe Thursday at 7:05 p.m. to kick off a weeklong homestand, first facing the Kannapolis Intimidators, the Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, in a four-game set. The RiverDogs’ starter for the home opener is still TBA. Thursday’s contest will be broadcast on WTMA 1250 AM, online streaming audio via riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs TuneIn radio app, and on MiLB.tv