The Charleston RiverDogs entered the ninth down by one, got the winning run to second base, but could not get the big hit they needed and fell, 3-2, to the Rome Braves in the series finale Wednesday night at Joe Riley Park.
The loss completes the Braves’ series sweep over the RiverDogs and extends Charleston’s home losing streak to seven games.
For the second night in a row, Jorge Mateo had a hand in putting the RiverDogs ahead early. He hit a triple with two down in the third and scored when Ozhaino Albies’ relay throw was too high for Jordan Edgerton covering third base, giving the home team the 1-0 lead.
Charleston (23-23) led by the one-run margin until the top of the fifth. Braxton Davidson led off the inning with a base hit and the scored the tying run on Albies’ RBI single three batters later.
The Braves (22-24) took the lead on a sacrifice fly by Bryan De La Rosa in the sixth. Rome added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Jordan Edgerton.
Dustin Fowler led off the bottom of the eighth with a single off of Zach Quintana, who then threw two wild pitches. Fowler came home to score and chiseled Rome’s lead down to 3-2.
The RiverDogs trailed entering the ninth and put two runners on with just one out. Vince Conde was hit by a pitch from Kyle Kinman and Mateo served a single into center. A groundout moved the runners to second and third before Kinman struck out Fowler and ended the game. The southpaw picked up his second save of the series and sixth save of the season. Charleston has not won at The Joe since its 7-2 victory over the Hickory Crawdads on May 4.
Luis Cedeno (3-4) took the loss for the RiverDogs despite only allowing two runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Brandon Barker (3-4) pitched six innings for Rome. He gave up just one run on five hits and struck out a career-high eight batters in the win.
The RiverDogs had runners on second and third in the bottom of the ninth, bringing the 2,830 fans to their feet, but Fowler struck out swinging to end the game. Kyle Kinman picked up his second save of the series and sixth save of the season.
Medieval jousting and a close mascot race amused the fans Wednesday night. Corn beat the hot dog by a husk in the race. Seniors in attendance enjoyed a free meal before the game.
The RiverDogs head back on the road for a four-game series with the Savannah Sand Gnats starting Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Historic Grayson Stadium. Charleston will send RHP Joey Maher (1-3, 3.76 ERA) to the mound.