The Asheville Tourists defeated the Charleston RiverDogs 4-3 Sunday evening at Joe Riley Park behind a strong start from Antonio Santos (W, 1-2, 2.25 ERA). The Tourists ended up taking three games of the four game series.
Nick Green (L, 1-3, 5.29 ERA) struggled again for the Dogs as he allowed 10 hits in five and two-thirds innings pitched. He allowed four runs, three of which were earned. Green ended up walking five batters.
“I didn’t think he pitched too bad. A couple of ground balls got through. I thought he threw the ball pretty well,” RiverDogs manager Pat Osborn said of Green’s start.
Asheville put together a pair of two-run innings in the second and the fourth off of Green. Willie Abreu knocked in the first two runs of the game on an RBI single to right that scored Tyler Nevin and Taylor Snyder for a 2-0 Tourists lead. In the fourth, Snyder ripped a double to the right-center field wall that scored Nevin for the third Tourist run of the game. Abreu then knocked in his third run of the game with a chopping single over RiverDogs first baseman Brandon Wagner who was playing in to cut off the run at the plate. Snyder scored the Tourists’ fourth run of the game on that play, making it 4-1 at that point of the contest. Abreu ended up going 3-for-4 while driving in three runs for Asheville.
The RiverDogs did claw back with runs in the fifth and the seventh. Florial ripped a home run over the right field wall to make it 4-2 Tourists. In the seventh, Oswaldo Cabrera began the inning by lacing a double down the right field line, then came around to score on Carlos Vidal‘s RBI single to left to make it 4-3 Tourists. During Hoy Park’s at-bat Asheville reliever Kenny Oakley threw the ball into center field attempting to pick off Vidal, allowing Vidal, the potential tying run, to advance to third and Florial, the potential go-ahead run, to second. Park worked the count to 3-2 and hit the ball hard, but right to Asheville second baseman Snyder, who threw on to first to end the threat.
“We had a chance in the seventh inning, tying run at third, go-ahead run at second, Hoy Park hits a ball on the screws that was right at their second baseman. That’s the way it goes, you know. You keep grinding, you keep playing and eventually it’ll turn out on our side and things will go the way we want it to go,” Osborn said.
Phillip Diehl came in to relieve Green in the sixth and kept the Dogs in the game by pitching two and one-third innings, allowing just one hit while striking out three Tourists. Anyelo Gomez pitched a scoreless ninth for Charleston, allowing a hit and striking out two of the four batters he faced. The RiverDogs couldn’t mount a comeback though as Justin Lawrence shut the door in the ninth for his second save of the season for the Tourists. Lawrenced retired the Dogs with a perfect ninth while recording two strikeouts.
“Hopefully we keep playing hard. The kids play their tails off – win, lose or draw. They play for nine innings, 27 outs. I don’t expect anything less. They’ll continue to do that. As I said earlier, hopefully the ball will bounce our way and things will turn around,” Osborn said.
Florial was the bright spot of the RiverDogs offense going 3-for-4 scoring two runs and hitting a home run. Santos ended up pitching six innings for Asheville, allowing just four hits, two runs, only one of which was earned.
With the loss, the RiverDogs drop to 9-9 on the season and have lost six of their last eight games. The win put the Asheville Tourists at the 9-9 mark as well on the year.
The Dogs hit the road and visit the Pittsburgh Pirates afilliate West Virginia Power for a three game set, April 24-26, and then move on to Delmarva to face the Shorebirds, the Baltimore Orioles affiliate, in a four game set in Maryland. The RiverDogs return home on May 2 for a three game set against the Philadelphia Phillies affiliate Lakewood Blue Claws, followed by a three-game visit from the Shorebirds.