GREENVILLE, S.C. – Down early, the Charleston RiverDogs saved their best baseball for the late innings, surging past the Greenville Drive, 4-3, to win for the eighth time in the last 10 games and take the series lead over their Red Sox rivals on Sunday afternoon at Fluor Field.
Charleston (16-14) catcher Eduardo Navas drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the sixth. The fourth-year RiverDogs veteran finished the afternoon 1-for-2 with a pair of runs driven in for the second time this season, providing some much-needed offense with the red-hot Josh Breaux benched after being hit by a pitch on his left foot on Saturday night.
Greenville (12-17) roared out of the gates to take a 2-0 lead in the first, taking advantage of a shaky inning by Luis Medina. The 19-year-old starter for the RiverDogs walked two of the first three batters he faced before first baseman Devlin Granberg brought them both home on a triple into right. After hitting a batter and walking his third of the inning, Medina coaxed a key double play ball out of the right fielder Marino Campana to limit the damage in the opening frame. The fire-balling righty grinded through 4 2/3 innings on seven day’s rest, working around a season-high six walks with three strikeouts and just two hits allowed. He did not allow run after the first.
The Holy City plated their first run in the second inning, taking advantage of back-to-back walks from Drive spot starter Hunter Haworth. Navas laid down a perfectly executed sac bunt to move the runners over before Eduardo Torrealba sailed the first pitch he saw into right for a sacrifice fly that cut the deficit in half.
In the sixth, Charleston used more small ball to claw back into the game. After a double by Canaan Smith and a single by first baseman Mickey Gasper, right fielder Frederick Cuevas came up to bat with two outs and laid down a slow rolling bunt to third to score the game’s tying run.
In the eighth, three straight RiverDogs reached before Navas was plunked to push across an insurance tally that the Drive quickly erased in the bottom half.
Designated hitter Canaan Smith finished the day 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of runs scored. The Rockwall, Texas native has now hit safely in his last ten straight. With a 0-for-5 game, Josh Stowers’ hitting streak ended at 10-in-a-row. Both stretches are tied for the longest streak by a RiverDogs hitter this year.
Right-hander Jhony Brito (1-0) took the game the rest of the way following the abbreviated start from Medina. Aside from a pair of back-to-back one out knocks in the eighth, his record was sterling as he fanned three to finish the game for his first win as a RiverDog.
The RiverDogs wrap up their weeklong road trip, a 5-1 stretch away from Riley Park to this point, on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. at Fluor Field. Right-hander Roansy Contreras (2-1, 3.33) gets the start for the RiverDogs. The Yankees’ pre-season No. 7 prospect has given up seven runs over his last two starts after yielding no more than a pair in each of his first three outings to start the year. The Drive will counter with righty Brayan Bello (1-1, 4.50), the Red Sox’s No. 25 overall prospect, in the series finale. Fans can catch the game on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area as well as online streaming on the TuneIn Radio app starting at 7.