RiverDogs Rolled by Braves in Series Opener
ROME, GA. - The Charleston RiverDogs fell behind early, sinking into an 8-0 hole after two innings, as they were routed by the Braves, 12-3, dropping their season-long skid to four straight games in Monday night's series opener from State Mutual Stadium.
In his first start after taking the loss in Tuesday's South Atlantic League All-Star Game, right-hander Alexander Vizcaino (4-3) looked out of character as the Braves (33-41, 3-2) knocked him around for ten hits and a career-high nine runs allowed, including sending nine men to the plate in the first inning to score five times.
Rome first baseman Griffin Benson was a thorn in the RiverDogs' (38-37, 1-4) side all night, going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with six RBI, including applying the coup de gras in the second inning with a three-run drive into rare territory in right field. The switch-hitting infielder thumped a 3-0 offering from Vizcaino to make it 8-0 Braves after back-to-back men reached with two outs.
The Braves' 15 hits were the most given up by Charleston pitching on the season and the 12 runs allowed the second-most on the year in the Dogs' most lopsided defeat since an 11-2 loss to Greensboro on April 14 at The Joe.
The RiverDogs lineup, which had been lagging as the league's lowest-producing unit by OPS since May 26 (.627), collected 10 hits, all of them singles. Second baseman Kyle Gray, outfielder Frederick Cuevas, and Eduardo Navas all enjoyed multi-hit nights, including the first of the season for the RiverDogs catcher in 42 games.
Charleston continues the series in Rome on Tuesday night, sending All-Star right-hander Luis Gil (2-3, 1.81) to the mound. The 21-year-old fire baller, rated the Yankees' No. 13 pre-season prospect by MLB.com, will make his first start following the break after holding Greenville to just one run in five innings last Sunday at The Joe in the first-half finale; Gil worked around traffic all afternoon last time out, wriggling out of several jams after allowing a season-high eight hits with the help of eight punch outs. Gil faces the Braves for the second time in his last three starts after fanning a career-high 10 batters in seven shutout in a matchup with Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel on May 10. Rome will send right-hander Jose Olague (5-5, 3.36) in opposition; the Mexican-born hurler gave up just an unearned tally in six innings facing Charleston on June 12. First pitch is at 7 p.m.
Catch the game on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area as well as online streaming on the TuneIn Radio app. 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 are available at riverdogs.com.
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