CHARLESTON, SC - Catcher Jason Lopez went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the Charleston RiverDogs' series opener against Greenville, but the Drive overcame an early deficit to end the Dogs' three-game winning streak, 4-2, in front of 4,440 at Riley Park on Friday night.
Lopez tied a season-best six-game hitting streak with a fifth inning, run-scoring single to bring home designated hitter Mitchell Hansen. The Venezuelan catcher added a second hit in the seventh, but couldn't rally the Dogs (50-51, 17-16), who are now 4-40 when trailing after six innings.
Lopez is 10-for-18 during the five-game homestand and is batting .500 (11-for-22) during his six-game streak. The 20-year-old snapped a 0-for-19 skid when his streak began and is still slashing .276/.329/.447. Among SAL catchers with at least 150 plate appearances, Lopez ranks in the top-5 in average, OBP, and slugging.
Hansen scored both Charleston runs on Friday, as he was plated on a third inning Oswaldo Cabrera single for the game's first run.
Right-hander Janson Junk (4-3) took the hill for the RiverDogs, taking the loss after surrendering four runs in five innings. The Seattle-area native allowed three straight hits to start the sixth before Julio Mosquera made the move to reliever Austin DeCarr. One of the inherited runs crossed against DeCarr which was charged to Junk. The righty reliever threw two innings with one hit and a pair of strikeouts.
Prior to Junk's outing, Charleston starters had pitched 23 innings with two runs allowed (0.78 ERA) during the homestand with 27 strikeouts and no walks.
Daniel Alvarez pitched the final two frames for the RiverDogs, issuing a walk to the first batter he faced but striking out the next six Drive (44-59, 19-15) hitters. Alvarez has seven punchouts in 5 1/3 scoreless innings in his two shorts stints in Charleston this month.
With the loss, Charleston failed to match a season-best four-game winning streak and has not yet won four consecutive home contests.
Friday was all that and a bag of chips as it was "90s Night" down at The Joe. Fans competed in "Friends" trivia, gave their best "Titanic" reenactments, and rocked hair scrunchies and overalls on a night that was capped with a Home Telecom postgame fireworks show set to the tunes of the 20th century's final decade.