Right-handed starter Janson Junk turned in six shutout innings before center fielder Matt McPhearson delivered with the game-winning knock in the top of the eighth following a near hour-long rain delay as the Charleston RiverDogs snuck past the Greenville Drive, 1-0, to win their second in a row on Sunday afternoon at Fluor Field.
Junk was brilliant in a no-decision effort, throwing up six zeroes while matching a career-best with seven strikeouts. After issuing a leadoff walk to start the game, he retired the next ten Drive (29-51, 4-7) hitters in a row. The Seattle University product walked his second batter in the fourth and yielded his first hit with two outs in the inning to designated hitter Zach Sterry but left two men on in the inning. It marked Junk’s first scoreless outing of the season; he had allowed 10 runs over his previous 14 innings heading into Sunday.
The game was interrupted due to rain with one out in Charleston’s (40-37, 7-2) half of the eighth. Right fielder Leonardo Molina came out of the 59-minute delay and was plunked to put a runner aboard. After he advanced on a wild pitch by righty Devon Fisher (3-6), McPhearson worked a 3-1 count before drilling the go-ahead single into center field to score Molina stand up.
Flame-throwing lefty Anderson Severino hurled the final two innings for Charleston to pick up his first save in five opportunities this season. Daniel Ramos (5-2) weaseled out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the seventh before the delay to garner the victory.
The win marked Charleston’s second one-run win over the Drive after they narrowly edged out a 3-2 victory on Saturday. The Holy City has now played in a league-high 36 one-run games this season.
Hildemaro Requena kept the Dogs lineup in check throughout the early afternoon portion, yielding just two hits in seven shutout frames to bounce back from an effort in early June when he gave up three homers and was tagged for nine total runs against the Charleston lineup at Fluor Field. It came two starts after Requena spun 7 1/3 shutout to end the RiverDogs’ season in game three of the playoffs last September.
Pablo Olivares finished the game 1-for-4, hustling out his third infield hit in the last five days to extend his hitting streak to double digits. The 20-year-old phenom is now 16-for-40 (.400) at the plate since the All-Star break and currently 12 at-bats shy of qualifying for what would be a league-leading .353 batting average on the year.
The victory moves Charleston to sole possession of first-place in the Southern Division second-half standings and a game ahead of Asheville.
-per Charleston RiverDogs