Greenville nips RiverDogs, 4-3

A big seventh inning was not enough to lead the Charleston RiverDogs to a victory, as they lost, 4-3, to the Greenville Drive in the completion of Friday’s game on Saturday night at Fluor Field at the West End.

The RiverDogs (0-2 second half, 34-38 overall) entered Saturday trailing 2-0 heading into the bottom of the second. Greenville (2-0, 40-32) scored two runs in the first inning Friday on Danny Bethea’s RBI single and Javier Guerra’s RBI groundout. The game was suspended after the top of the second due to rain and lightning.

Charleston loaded the bases in the top of the third after the game was resumed. Alexander Palma hit a one-out single, moved to third when Derek Toadvine reached on a fielding error by Guerra, and then Jorge Mateo was hit by a pitch. However, the RiverDogs left the bags full as Vince Conde struck out and Angel Aguilar flied out to end the frame.

The Drive added two more to their total in the bottom of the sixth. Nick Longhi led off the inning with a triple to right and then Guerra drove him home with a single. Guerra stole second base and scored later in the inning when right fielder Austin Aune dropped a line drive with two outs.

The RiverDogs went down in order in the fifth and sixth, but the offense caught fire with two outs in the seventh. Chris Breen doubled to deep center field and Collin Slaybaugh was hit by a pitch, which put two on with two out for Alex Palma. The left fielder hit an RBI single to plate Breen and Toadvine followed with an infield single to load the bases and chase Michael Kopech (3-5) from the game. Kopech earned his second win of the season against Charleston and struck out seven batters in 4 2/3 innings pitched.

Ryan Harris entered the game and threw a wild pitch to Mateo, the first batter he faced. Slaybaugh slid into home safely and Palma charged around third and scored on an errant throw by catcher Bethea. Toadvine was stranded on second as Mateo grounded out to Guerra to end the inning.

The RiverDogs got two hits in the eighth inning but failed to score. Conde was caught stealing second and Tejeda was stranded on first. Charleston went down 1-2-3 in the ninth, and Harris earned his third save of the season.

David Palladino (1-5), who started the game and gave up two runs in the first inning on Friday, took the loss. Mateo’s hit streak came to an end at 11 games as he went 0-for-3.

The RiverDogs continue their five-game series against Greenville at 4:05 p.m. Sunday. Charleston will send LHP Rony Bautista (3-1, 3.20 ERA) to the mound against LHP Jalen Beeks (6-4, 4.35 ERA) for the Drive.