ROME, GA - The Rome Braves scored five runs in the third inning and coasted to their third straight win over the Charleston RiverDogs 5-3 on Monday night at State Mutual Stadium in Rome, GA in South Atlantic League action. The Braves took the series three games to one from the Dogs.
With the loss, the RiverDogs fall below .500 to 28-29 in the second half and 67-58 overall. Rome advances to 29-28 in the second half and 65-61 overall with the victory. Rome moves into sole possession of fourth place in the Sally League Southern Division standings while Charleston falls to fifth place.
Charleston got the scoring started in the first inning thanks to a single and stolen base by leadoff man Jake Cave and a two out, RBI single by Dante Bichette, Jr. to take a 1-0 lead after half an inning.
The game stayed that way until the bottom of the fifth inning where the Braves exploded for five runs on five hits, one walk, and a hit batter. Edison Sanchez provided the big blow with a bases clearing double to knock in three runs and put Rome up 4-1.
Sanchez finished the series on fire reaching base safely in his final 11 plate appearances. On Monday he was a perfect 3-3 and got hit by a pitch.
The RiverDogs had a golden opportunity in the top of the sixth to get right back in the game, but failed to take advantage. Angelo Gumbs knocked in a run with a one out RBI single to load the bases, but reliever Matt Chaffee came in and struck out Reymond Nunez and Danny Oh to end the inning and strand the bases loaded for Charleston with Rome up 5-2.
In the top of the ninth inning Charleston loaded the bases with only one out, but a sacrifice fly by Jackson Valera and strikeout by Greg Bird ended the ballgame with the tying run at first base.
Bird went 0-1 with four walks in the contest to move his league leading total to 95 walks on the season.
Brett Gerritse started for the Dogs and allowed five runs on six hits, walked one, and fanned four. Gerritse earned the loss to fall to 8-7. Charleston's bullpen was dynamite with Adam Smith tossing two perfect innings, and James Pazos not allowing a run in his lone inning of work.
Mauricio Cabrera earned just his third win of the year for Rome to advance to 3-7. He threw 5.1 innings and allowed six hits and two runs with three walks and two strikeouts. Chaffee walked one and allowed no hits in his 2.2 scoreless innings. Zach Jadofsky gave up one run on two hits and struck out two in the ninth to collect his third save of the season for the Braves.
COMING UP: Charleston returns home to Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park to kick off their second to last homestand of the season on Tuesday. The West Virginia Power come to town for three games. Game one will feature a pitching matchup of RHP Luis Severino (1-1, 4.08 ERA) for the RiverDogs and RHP John Kuchno (8-5, 4.01 ERA) for the Power. Each Tuesday the RiverDogs team with MUSC Wellness to promote healthy lifestyle choices. Tuesdays at The Joe feature a healthy menu item and lifestyle tips throughout the game. The new 2-for-$20 Date Night includes two tickets, two slices of pizza, two sodas and one bag of popcorn all for $20. Also, local Italian restaurant La Fontana presents the "Lucky Couple of the Game" as one fortunate pair will be selected at random to win a free and romantic Italian dinner. The restaurant will bring in two specialty dishes and the couple will enjoy that dinner in a singular seating arrangement down the right field line while enjoying the game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm on Tuesday. Fans can listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio 910AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.
Box Score: http://atmilb.com/19FjHVB
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.