Charleston drops three straight for the first time all season in opener against Greenville
GREENVILLE, SC – The Charleston RiverDogs squandered early chances with runners on base, and one big mistake by RiverDogs starter Luis Cedeno would prove the difference as Greenville edged out a 1-0 victory on Monday afternoon’s Memorial Day opener at Fluor Field.
With two outs in the fifth, Greenville first baseman Josh Ockimey jumped all over a 1-1 offering from Cedeno (1-2) to hammer his ninth home run of the season, and put the Drive up 1-0 in what would prove to be the defining moment of the ballgame.
While the big blast from Ockimey would be the moment to remember, the RiverDogs had plenty of chances to take the early lead beforehand. Charleston had their leadoff man aboard in each of the first three innings, as Greenville starter Anderson Espinoza (4-4) struggled with command in the early goings, issuing four free passes over the first three frames. Double plays erased the leadoff runners in the first two, and the RiverDogs couldn’t plate a run in the third despite walks to Jeff Hendrix and Leonardo Molina to start the inning. Catcher Eduardo Navas couldn’t successfully lay down a bunt to advance the runners before second baseman Kyle Holder popped out to short and Hoy Jun Park grounded out to first to end the inning.
Greenville were not without other opportunities as well, as the Drive left the bases loaded stranded facing Cedeno in the second and fifth innings. Both teams stranded seven base runners each.
The RiverDogs did not collect their first hit until the fifth when Leonardo Molina singled to right with two outs, one of just three hits by Charleston.
Charleston rallied with a leadoff single in the ninth by Chris Gittens, and the ballgame would be extended on an error by Drive shortstop Jeremy Rivera that allowed Angel Aguilar to reach with two outs, but Jeff Hendrix flew out to left to end the ballgame. Greenville lefty Bobby Poyner was dominant to pick up the two innings save, his 11th save of the year.
Luis Cedeno took his second loss of the season, both against the Drive, as he went five innings allowing one run on five hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts. Nestor Cortes, continued his dominance, tallying five strikeouts while walking just one in three hitless innings of relief. The Miami native has now racked up 21 strikeouts over his last 12 innings.
Kyle Holder went 0-3 with walk on the day, ending a RiverDogs season-high hitting streak at 16 games. Going back to May 9, the Yankees supplemental first round pick went 22-for-62 (.355) at the plate with four doubles and three RBIs.
With the loss, the RiverDogs drop three straight for the first time all season, but remain in first place in the Southern Division.
The RiverDogs continue their series with the Drive on Tuesday night as Charleston sends RHP Simon De la Rosa (1-2, 4.66) as Greenville counter with RHP Marc Brakeman (1-4, 6.48) with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm at Fluor Field. After the three game series in Greenville, the RiverDogs return to host Kannapolis from June 2-4 at Riley Park.
Ticket information for the RiverDogs homestand and any of the remaining home games can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com. Those that can’t make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM and streaming online at riverdogs.com. Listen on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area.