Medina throws five strong frames in the losing effort
By: Riverdogs Media
Some ninth-inning offensive life shown by the Dogs wasn’t enough, as Charleston fell 4-1 to the Asheville Tourists in front of 3,871 at Joe Riley Park.
Despite one of Luis Medina’s (0-4, 8.55) best starts of the season, Charleston (33-28) simply could not solve the combination of starter Ryan Feltner and relievers Jake Bird, (4-1, 2.85) PJ Poulin, Jacob Bosiokovic and Alexander Martinez.
Kyle Gray earned a one-out single in the top of the first, but that was all the club could muster until Canaan Smith’s two-out walk in the fourth. Feltner faced the minimum through 2 2/3 innings, but was ejected by home plate umpire Jennifer Pawol for using a foreign substance on the mound. Bird came on in relief and quickly retired Eduardo Torrealba for the final out of the third. After allowing the walk to Smith, Bird struck out Max Burt, the third strikeout victim of the frame, to escape the fourth.
Friday night was an encouraging sign for the Yankees’ No. 11 overall prospect who has fought through a tough start to the season. Entering play Friday, Medina sported an unsightly 9.26 ERA through his first nine starts of the year. The Dominican Republic native flashed his better command through his five innings of work, striking out two in a scoreless first inning to work around a one-out walk issued to Terrin Vavra.
The Tourists broke through in the top of the second, plating a couple of runs on a soft single to left field by Tourists (26-35) DH Johnny Cresto. Grant Lavigne lined a one-out double to right field, and after another walk surrendered to Daniel Montano, Cresto hit a soft liner that dropped in front of Smith to score the first two markers of the contest. A great throw home by Smith looked like it would be in time to nail Montano, but a better jump-move by Asheville’s left fielder got the run across.
Medina settled in nicely after the tough second frame, striking out a season-high nine hitters en route to tying his season-high in innings pitched with the five frames. He needed 88 pitches to do so.
Former Rockies farmhand Jefry Valdez came on in relief of Medina and promptly gave up two more tallies in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Lavigne and a sac fly by shortstop Coco Montes. He pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth, and Carlos Espinal added a clean ninth to keep the deficit at four entering the bottom of the ninth.
After mustering just one hit, a sixth-inning double by Eduardo Navas, between the fifth and eighth innings, Charleston’s bats finally woke up in the bottom of the ninth. A leadoff single by Eduardo Torrealba and a walk issued to the Dogs’ newest All-Star Brandon Lockridge set up runners on first and second with no one out against Bosiokovic. He retired Kyle Gray and Smith on three pitches before Burt came through with a clutch single back up the middle to put Charleston on the board, chasing Bosiokovic from the game.
Alexander Martinez came in tasked with getting Frederick Cuevas and did just that, inducing a soft line drive to shortstop, sealing the win and evening the series at one win apiece.
With Lexington’s fifth consecutive win since a loss to Charleston last Sunday in Kentucky, the Legends trail the RiverDogs by just 1.5 games heading into play Saturday with nine games remaining in the first-half Southern Division race.
I waaaant it thaaaaat way! Fans who came out for Friday night’s contest were treated to a blast from the past in honor of ‘90s Fireworks night. Those in attendance sung along to their favorite songs released in the 1990s while taking in another spectacular Home Telecom fireworks display as part of Boeing Red Shirt Friday. That’s not all, because everyone who showed up wearing red was able to get $1 off regular ticket prices at the box office, with the option to donate that dollar back to help out local active and retired military members and their families.
The RiverDogs become Los Perros Santos de Charleston for the first time this season on Saturday, taking part in MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión initiative to celebrate the LatinX community. Charleston will don alternate caps and jerseys to complete the day, and there will be a piñata party to top off the festivities following the game. Dominican teenager Roansy Contreras (4-3, 4.67) will handle the duties on the mound in the penultimate game of the series, looking to turn things around after allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings in his start on the road against the Lexington Legends on June 1. The tourists will counter with lefty Nick Bush (3-4, 5.65), also looking to bounce back from his previous outing in which he allowed six runs on 10 hits to the Augusta GreenJackets.
For those who can’t make it to Riley Park, catch the game on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area, online streaming on the TuneIn Radio app and on MiLB.tv with a subscription. Fans can “Make Fun” with the RiverDogs all season long down at The Joe. Single-game tickets, including options to the Riley Park Club, are available at riverdogs.com/tickets or by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS). A full schedule and list of game times for the 2019 season is available at riverdogs.com.