Hickory, NC - The Hickory Crawdads belted four home runs off Charleston pitching, including a pair from Rangers catching prospect Sam Huff, as the RiverDogs skidded to their fifth straight loss, 7-3, on Tuesday night at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Charleston (50-55, 17-20) starter Deivi Garcia (2-4) was knocked around in the opening inning, giving up three extra-base hits to the Crawdads the first time through the order, before settling in to finish out six innings. After a leadoff double by third baseman Justin Jacobs in the second, Garcia retired 11 batters in a row and faced the minimum in the third through sixth innings, finishing with seven punchouts. The Yankees' No. 13 prospect has now struck out at least seven in seven of his eight starts with the RiverDogs, having piled up 63 in 40 2/3 innings, a mark that ranks tops in the league since joining Charleston on June 11.
Second baseman Yonny Hernandez took Garcia deep to lead off the first, the normally light-hitting infielder's second of the season, both coming in the series. Garcia hit the next batter and walked a pair to load them up for Huff, who ripped a two-out grand slam to extend the Crawdads lead to 5-0 after one.
Centerfielder Leonardo Molina drove in a pair for the RiverDogs, who managed to bring the ballgame back within two before Hickory add a pair of solo shots in the seventh and eighth.
After a league-best 12-4 start to the second-half, the RiverDogs have dropped 16 of their last 21 contests, and now look to avoid their second straight series sweep in Wednesday afternoon's finale in Hickory.
The four home runs allowed by Charleston marked a season-high. The RiverDogs staff that had ranked third in the league in ERA entering play had only allowed more than a pair of home runs twice all year before giving up seven between the last two nights to Hickory.
Hickory starter Reid Anderson (5-6) retired the first 10 Charleston hitters to start the ballgame and scattered four hits across seven innings while allowing three runs in a winning effort.