Hickory, NC - Right-hander Miguel Yajure tossed five innings of one-run ball in his second solid turn on the mound in a row, but the Hickory Crawdads edged the RiverDogs, 2-1, to finish off a three-game sweep and hand Charleston their sixth consecutive loss on Wednesday afternoon at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Yajure was sharp for the second straight outing in a no-decision effort. After turning in five shutout frames last Thursday against Augusta, the 20-year-old Venezuelan scattered five hits and allowed just a run allowed and five punch outs but would leave with a tie game after five complete.
With a new lineup in contrast to the previous five losses, Julio Mosquera's turn to shortstop Ricky Surum in the leadoff spot paid off in the third when the Mt. Olive University product delivered with a go-ahead RBI single, scoring left fielder Mitchell Hansen, who doubled to lead off the frame. Both enjoyed two-hit afternoons in the Dogs (50-56, 17-21) lineup that was largely stymied the rest of the way.
The Crawdads (53-54, 23-16) roped a pair of doubles in the fifth to tie the game. First-rounder Bubba Thompson drilled a first-pitch changeup into the left field corner to score Kole Enright with two outs, making it 1-1. In 11 meetings against the Holy City, 43 of Hickory's 91 total hits (47%) went for extra-bases, including 14 home runs.
A broken run-down play would give the Rangers affiliate the lead in the seventh. With two men on, Enright drilled a line drive that sliced into the right field corner, but Hickory manager Matt Hagen held up the lead runner, Sam Huff, at third as both Crawdads behind him kept going. In the ensuing chaos, the RiverDogs were able to chase down Miguel Aparicio and get the innings first out, but Huff scored when it looked like Charleston might get two on the lapse in baserunning judgement. The fielding mistake would prove the difference in the ballgame.
Rangers' No. 18 prospect A.J. Alexy would allow just the one run across five innings and Derek Heffel (W, 4-2) and Joe Barlow (SV, 4) shut down the game the rest of the way as Hickory rallied from the one-run deficit.
The loss marked Charleston's second straight series sweep, putting them one shy of their season-long skid and a season-high 4.5 games out of first-place Greenville in the second-half standings. The Dogs have now dropped 17 of their last 22 contests following a 12-4, first-place start after the All-Star break.
Righty Carlos Espinal (L, 0-1) saw the broken run-down play go against his favor, taking the loss in three innings of work in his Dogs debut after a call up from rookie-level Pulaski on Tuesday.