Garrett Whitlock’s scoreless streak ended after 26 straight innings as the Lakewood BlueClaws shutout Charleston for the second time to finish off a three-game sweep of the RiverDogs, 1-0, on Friday night at FirstEnergy Park.
Charleston’s shutout loss was their third of the season as the RiverDogs (16-18) managed just one run in the three-game series with the Phillies farm club. Charleston has played more one-run games than any other team in the league, falling for the 11th time in 18 tries.
Whitlock (2-2) suffered the third consecutive loss for a Charleston starter despite another spectacular outing. The 18th round pick out of UAB struck out four across six innings, with his lone blemish coming on an RBI single by Josh Steven with one out in the second. Shortstop Nick Maton ambushed Whitlock’s first pitch to rope a double to left-center before scoring the game’s lone run.
The Georgia native only yielded four hits while raising his ERA to a 1.13 mark after allowing his first run since an April 10 start in Rome.
The RiverDogs scuffled at the plate, managing just three hits off Lakewood (19-15) pitching. Charleston went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and finished 0-for-14 in the series situationally.
Charleston showed some life in the ninth against closer Addison Russ (SV, 5) when Leonardo Molina reached on an infield flair to open the contest, extending the Dominican Republic native’s hitting streak to eight straight after striking out in his first three trips. After showing bunt at first, shortstop Oswaldo Cabrera bounced into a 3-6-1 double play to stymy the rally before Steven Sensley struck out to end the ballgame.
Lefty Damon Jones (2-1) got the win, striking out nine over six one-hit innings for the BlueClaws.
Austin DeCarr made his season debut with Charleston, fanning three batters in two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The RiverDogs head to Maryland, next taking on the Hagerstown Suns, the Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, in a four-game series from Saturday through Tuesday. Charleston hands the ball to righty Alexander Vargas (1-0, 0.00), making his second start after throwing five scoreless at the Joe on Sunday. The Yankees’ No. 28 preseason prospect according to Baseball America will be opposed by righty Tomas Alastre (1-1, 5.46). Saturday’s game will be broadcast on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area and online streaming on the RiverDogs TuneIn radio station starting with “Saturday Dog Talk” at 5:30.