Hickory, NC - First baseman Dermis Garcia roped his second home run in the last three days, but the Hickory Crawdads matched the effort and then some with three long balls of their own as they handed the RiverDogs their fourth straight loss in Monday night's series opener at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Garcia touched off for his team-leading 12th of the season after smashing two longballs in the previous week at The Joe. It capped a two-hit game for the Dominican 20-year-old, who reached base three times. Six of his 12 long balls have come in July, a month in which the Yankees No. 18 prospect is hitting .267 while slugging .533.
Hickory (50-55, 20-17) built an early 4-0 lead, starting with left fielder Bubba Thompson's shot off the batter's eye two pitches into the bottom of the first, the first-round pick's fifth of the season. After single tallies in the second and fourth, Yonny Hernandez made it 4-0 with another leadoff blast in the fifth, just the second baseman's second career homer in over 800 career at-bats in the minors.
Charleston (50-54, 17-19) got on the board in the seventh inning when Frederick Cuevas smacked a double down the first base line to drive in Leonardo Molina. Cuevas finished with a three-hit effort, including a pair of two-baggers to snap out of a 0-for-19 slump.
Reiver Sanmartin (1-4) was chased by his former team after one out in the seventh. The former Rangers farmhand left with two runners on, both brought home on a three-run fly by center fielder Pedro Gonzalez, who took Braden Bristo deep to left field to make it a 7-1 Hickory lead. Bristo had only allowed one other home run in his previous 42 innings with Charleston, also to the Crawdads. Sanmartin fell to 0-2 against Hickory after making seven appearances in a Crawdads uniform last season before being dealt to the Yankees in a November trade.
Garcia's blast cut the deficit to five in the eighth and Welfrin Mateo brought home Cuevas after the D.R. product doubled a second time.
The RiverDogs were outhit, 13-12, in the slug fest, three hits shy of their combined season-high.