ROME, GA - The Charleston offense struck for three early runs only to see their lead vanish Saturday night as they fell to the Rome Braves by a final of 7-3 at State Mutual Stadium in South Atlantic League action.
With the loss, the RiverDogs fall to 2-1 in the second half but remain in first place in the Southern Division. Overall the RiverDogs record sits at 41-30. With the victory, Rome improves to 1-2 in the second half and 37-35 overall.
The Rome Braves offense was alive and kicking to the tune of seven runs on 16 hits. Those 16 hits are the second most allowed by the RiverDogs pitching staff this season. Rome struck for a run in the second inning, one in the third, three in the fourth and two more in the fifth.
Offensively the Braves were led by designated hitter Edison Sanchez who finished a 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles, a single and two runs scored. Jose Peraza did some damage for the Braves in the leadoff spot with a 3-for-5 night with three singles an RBI and a stolen base. All nine Rome starters had at least one hit in the game.
Rome starter Williams Perez (5-3) had a rough start to his outing Saturday before settling in and shutting down the RiverDogs offense. Perez's final line was five innings and he allowed three runs on six hits and he struckout six. Perez was relieved by Robert Fish who allowed just a single in his two innings of work.
The Charleston RiverDogs offense got off to another quick start Saturday with a early run in the first inning. Jake Cave led the game off with a double and following a Cito Culver strikeout, Greg Bird singled in Cave for the game's first run. With the RBI, Greg Bird has now knocked in six runs in the first three games of this series against the Braves.
The RiverDogs offense was back at it in the second inning, following a lineout by Angelo Gumbs, Danny Oh would draw a hit-by-pitch. After a Kelvin De Leon flyout, newly acquired outfielder Aaron Gates singled to move Oh into scoring position. With two runners on, Jackson Valera then singled to load the bases for leadoff hitter Jake Cave. Cave smashed a single plating the final two runs of the game for the RiverDogs. Cave finished his evening 2-for-5 with a single, a double, two RBI's and a run scored. Cave was also the lone RiverDog to record multiple hits in the game.
RiverDogs starter Luis Niebla (3-4) had an outing to forget Saturday. Niebla lasted just three plus innings that saw him allow five runs, four earned on a season high 13 hits and he had two strikeouts. Niebla was relieved in the fourth without recording an out in the inning by newly acquired reliever John Brebbia. Brebbia stranded two inherited runners as he sat the Braves down 1-2-3. Brebbia's final line was three innings pitched, two runs, three hits and two strikouts. Ben Paullus relieved Brebbia to start the seventh and tossed the final two frames for the RiverDogs.
The finale of this four game series against the Braves is scheduled for 5pm Sunday at State Mutual Stadium in Rome, Georgia. Charleston sends LHP Daniel Camarena (0-3, 6.34 ERA) to the mound as Rome counters with RHP Mauricio Cabrera (1-4, 5.04 ERA). You can listen to the game live locally on ESPN 910 AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.