CHARLESTON, SC - All nine guys in the lineup for the Rome Braves had at least one hit as they slugged their way past the Charleston RiverDogs 7-3 on Thursday night at Joseph P. Riley, Park in front of 4,488 fans in South Atlantic League action.
With the loss, the RiverDogs fall to 23-24 in the second half and 62-53 overall. With the win, Rome advances to 21-26 in the second half and 57-59 overall.
It was a fast moving pitcher's duel early on with the Dogs and Braves each only managing one base runner through the first three innings. However, in the fourth inning the Braves bats came alive in a big way.
They pounded out six hits and scored four runs in the top of the fourth to go up by a slam.
Charleston got a leadoff single from Cito Culver in the bottom of the 5th and thanks to a wild pitch, a groundout, and a passed ball was able to bring him in for their first run of the game to make it 4-1 Rome after five innings.
In the top of the sixth the Braves got that run right back thanks to a leadoff double by Kyle Wren and an RBI single by Jose Peraza. Peraza had a great game finishing 3-5 with two runs scored, and RBI, plus his 50th stolen base of the season. Eric Garcia and Ross Heffley each also chipped in with multi hit games for Rome.
Charleston's only good inning at the plate came in the bottom of the seventh. Down 7-1, Greg Bird picked up his only hit of the night with a single into right field, and he promptly scored on a monster home run to left field by Ericson Leonora, his first as a RiverDog, to pull the Dogs back to within a slam and make it 7-3.
Unfortunately, Charleston would not get any closer as reliever Jose Lugo threw scoreless eighth and ninth innings to close it out.
Righty Lucas Sims tossed seven solid innings for Rome allowing just four hits, three runs, and collected nine strikeouts. He earned the win to go to 8-3.
Luis Severino got the loss for Charleston to fall to 0-1. He breezed through 3 innings, but got roughed up in the fourth to finish with a line of five innings, eight hits, four runs, no walks, and five strikeouts. John Brebbia allowed five hits and three runs in his two innings of work before giving way to Adam Smith. Smith was perfect in two frames and struckout two.
BALLPARK FUN: Eric Krupa, President of the South Atlantic League, was on hand to catch his first game in Charleston this year. He also joined the RiverDogs radio broadcast as color analyst for a couple innings in the middle of the game.
COMING UP: The second game of this four game series is Friday night at 7:05 at Riley Park. RHP Cesar Vargas (4-4, 2.96 ERA) will be on the mound for Charleston and Rome will start RHP Wes Parsons (4-6, 2.99 ERA). Fans can listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio 910AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.
Box Score: http://atmilb.com/18f2NIw