Charleston scores first for the first time in 10 days, but are downed by Tourists to force series split
CHARLESTON, S.C. – A lone run-scoring single by Frederick Cuevas was all Charleston could muster in a 6-1 loss to the Asheville Tourists Sunday evening in front of 5,253 at Joe Riley Park.
Riding the high of a combined 19 runs scored in the last two games of the series against Asheville (33-48, 4-7), the RiverDogs (42-39, 5-6) were stymied by Shelby Lackey (3-7, 5.60) in his solid five innings of work to seal the series split for his club.
Cuevas’ knock came in the bottom of the second inning, following a one-out double by Kyle Gray. He lifted an 0-1 pitch softly out into no-man’s land between Robert Metz and Daniel Montano to plate Charleston’s second baseman, giving the Dogs a 1-0 lead for his 18th run driven in this season.
Lackey shrugged off the single, throwing three more hitless fames to finish with five innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts and just four hits and two walks allowed.
Alexander Vizcaino (4-4, 4.48) pitched fairly well on the heels of his worst start of the season. He was able to hold the Tourists off the scoreboard through the first three innings before the wheels started to come off in the fourth. Asheville plated two on an RBI single by Terrin Vavra, back in the Tourists’ lineup after overcoming the flu, and an RBI two-bagger by Coco Montes. Asheville took a 2-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The Dogs righty finished with five innings pitched and four runs allowed on seven hits. He fanned five and didn’t walk a hitter.
The Tourists put it out of reach with two more in the fifth on the 24th double of the year by Vavra, his second and third RBI of the game, as well as two more in the eighth and ninth innings. Daniel Bies came on in relief of Vizcaino and finished the game with four innings of two-run ball. It was Bies’ first run allowed after a stretch of 13 consecutive scoreless frames in relief.
Charleston’s struggling offense has now scored more than three runs in just three of 11 games to start the second half, and dropped to a .239 average through 81 games, the seventh-best mark in the SAL. The Dogs finish June with a 13-15 record, and now look ahead to a three-game series against the Augusta GreenJackets to close out the homestand.
The festivities celebrating Larry Doby, the first African American to break the color barrier in the American League for the Cleveland Indians, wrapped up on Sunday evening. Both teams wore throwback uniforms, with Charleston donning Newark Eagles jerseys in honor of the first team Doby played for at the age of 17. The Tourists wore Homestead Grays jerseys in keeping with the Negro Leagues theme of the night. In addition, it was also another MUSC Health Family Sunday, so all the youngsters in attendance were able to eat for free and run the bases after the game, and those who drove to the game enjoyed free parking. To top off the action-packed weekend, fans stuck around and were treated to the second fireworks display of the homestand as part of All Faiths Night, which included a viewing of the Emmanuel documentary in the Riley Park Club, a panel with the producers of the film and a post-viewing reception. Proceeds from the event benefitted the Chris Singleton Foundation.
Charleston takes on the Augusta GreenJackets for the third series between the two clubs this year, with game one starting at 7:05 p.m. Monday night. The Dogs enter the series with a combined 2-5 record against Augusta, hitting just .224 as a team against GreenJackets pitching. The pitching staff has also struggled against Augusta, posting a 4.08 ERA. Luis Gil (3-3, 1.92) will toe the rubber in his second start against the GreenJackets this year. Back on April 19, the righty allowed just a single hit and two walks through five shutout innings on the road against Augusta.
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.