ROME, GA - First baseman Dermis Garcia cracked an opposite field home run to right-center to bring Charleston back even in the fourth inning, but a seven-run fifth put the game out of reach for the RiverDogs as the Rome Braves secured a series victory, 8-1, on Sunday afternoon at State Mutual Stadium.
Charleston's most productive power hitter, Garcia leads all current RiverDogs (53-46, 14-14) with home runs on the season, eight of which have come since the beginning of June, a stretch where the Yankees' pre-season top-20 prospect has slugged at an over .440 clip. The Dominican Republic native has hit three round-trippers in his last 10 games.
The RiverDogs' recent struggles with their rotation continued as Alex Mauricio (0-1) failed to turn in at least five innings for the second consecutive start since a call up from Staten Island. The Braves (53-46, 13-17) batted around to chase the right-hander in the fourth, scoring all their runs when eight consecutive men reached with two outs, including six base hits. Charleston starters have now failed to reach five innings in 9 of the last 11 games in which Charleston is 2-9 over that span. Still ranking second in the league, Charleston's staff ERA rose to 3.22, it's highest mark since April 11.
The loss matched Charleston's largest margin of defeat with Rome now holding two of the three games the RiverDogs have lost by seven runs this year, both coming in the weekend series. The RiverDogs have been outscored 65-32 over their last 12 games, a 2-10 stretch for the Holy City.
Daniel Alvarez and Austin DeCarr combined to toss 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for Charleston's bullpen.
Braves No. 30 prospect Huascar Ynoa (7-8) cruised aside from the Garcia homer, turning in seven innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts to garner the win.