HICKORY, N.C. — The Charleston RiverDogs bashed three big homers to top the Hickory Crawdads, 8-4, on Monday night in South Atlantic League play at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The RiverDogs (17-11, 56-40 second half), who have won five straight, remain in second place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division standings.
Before the game, Hickory (16-14, 55-45) was forced to scratch its starting pitcher, CJ Edwards, from the lineup because he was traded to the Chicago Cubs organization as part of a deal that brought Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers. Righty reliever Ryan Bores was forced into making the spot start for the Crawdads.
It didn’t take long for Charleston to get on the board against Bores as Angelo Gumbs smashed his fourth homer of the year, a three-run shot, over the left-field wall in the top of the first inning to make it 3-0 RiverDogs.
Hickory responded in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer by Nick Vickerson.
Both starters then settled in, with no more runs allowed until the fifth inning.
Earlier in the day, RiverDogs first baseman Greg Bird was named SAL Player of the Week for games played July 15-21. He immediately put his name in the running for this week’s award with another dominant performance at the plate.
In the top of the fifth, he launched his 15th home run over the right field wall and brought in Jake Cave to put Charleston on top, 5-2. Bird finished the game 3 for 5, just a triple shy of the cycle.
In the sixth, Cave went opposite field for his second homer of the year to push the RiverDogs’ lead to 8-2. Cave finished 2 for 5 with a double, homer, 2 runs scored, and three RBIs.
Charleston starting pitcher Daniel Camarena (3-4) went six innings, allowing just four hits and two runs,and struck out a season-high eight batters.
Hickory scratched across single runs in the seventh and in the ninth, but never got within four runs.
The RiverDogs will go for the series sweep Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. Charleston will send RHP Cesar Vargas (3-3, 3.09 ERA) to the mound against Hickory LHP Luis Parra (5-3, 1.78 ERA).