A change of scenery was all the RiverDogs needed to get the bats going. Despite slugging a season-high three home runs, Charleston dropped their fourth straight, 10-8, in a rain-shortened six-inning final against the Suns on Saturday night from Municipal Stadium.
Coming off a series in which the RiverDogs (16-19) managed one run and hit just .176 as a team, it was the pitching that didn’t come through as Hagerstown (11-24) battered the RiverDogs for 10 runs on a season-most 16 hits. It marked just the second time the RiverDogs staff, that entered play with the lowest team ERA in the minor leagues, allowed double-digit runs. The four-game losing streak marks a season-long skid for the Yankees’ affiliate.
Charleston jumped out to a 5-0 in the first inning, capped by a pair of back-to-back jacks by designated hitter Pablo Olivares and first baseman Dalton Blaser, a three-run and solo shot, respectively, that pushed the Holy City out to their biggest single inning on the season.
The Suns wasted no time answering in the bottom half, plating four to cut the deficit to just a run off Alexander Vargas. Third baseman Anderson Franco and right fielder Nick Banks each clubbed run-scoring doubles, two of the five total on the night from the Nats affiliate in just six innings.
The RiverDogs padded the lead back with a two-run blast by second baseman Oswaldo Cabrera in the second. The 19-year-old’s first of the season made it 7-4. With two outs in the third, catcher Jason Lopez drove in a run on a double down the left field line to make it an 8-4 RiverDogs lead.
In the fourth, Hagerstown sent nine men to the plate and scored five runs, chasing Vargas in the process. With Braden Bristo (0-2) on the hill, Jake Scudder cracked a two-run double to right with the RiverDogs defense cutting down the potential go-ahead tally on the same play on a relay from right for the second out. Left fielder Aldrem Corredor gave the Suns their first lead with a single grounded through the left side.
In a no-decision effort, Vargas gave up eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits despite filling up the zone with 68 pitches, 49 for strikes. It marked just the second time a Charleston starter gave up more than two runs since April 24.
Olivares finished the rain-shortened contest 3-for-3 with his first home run with the game called due to wet grounds.
-per Charleston RiverDogs