Anderson Espinoza, Drive Relievers Combine to Blank RiverDogs, 1-0
Greenville Drive starter Anderson Espinoza looked brilliant in his last outing, blanking the Ashville Tourists for six innings, and Monday night he gave the Charleston RiverDogs a taste of how good he can be, blanking them through five innings in a 1-0 victory. Two relievers combined with the Drive starter on a three-hitter to move Greenville to .500 (25-25).
Luis Cedeno started for the Charleston RiverDogs, and he pitched a gem as well. Through the first two innings of the game neither team was able to score. Greenville had their chance in the bottom of the second when a single and two walks loaded the bases with just one out, but Cedeno was able to induce a double-play to end the threat.
In the top of the third, it looked like the RiverDogs may jump out to the lead. Hendrix and Molina led off with back-to-back walks and a wild pitch made it second and third with two outs, but Espinoza was able to retire the final batter of the inning to keep the game scoreless.
In the bottom of the third, Greenville would take the lead. Cedeno was able to retire the first two batters of the inning, but Josh Ockimey gave the Drive the lead when he crushed his ninth homerun of the season over the left-center field wall for the 1-0 Greenville lead.
That would be all the scoring that either team could generate. Cedeno (1-2) took the loss despite pitching extremely well. He allowed 5-hits in 5-innings, with 2-walks and an earned run. He struck out 4.
Espinoza (4-4) was just one pitch better. The right-hander allowed 1-hit and walked 4 while also striking out 4. Adam Lau took over in the sixth and pitched two outstanding innings as well. He allowed just two base runners while striking out 3.
In the eighth, Greenville closer Bobby Poyner took over. He was absolutely outstanding, allowing a lone hit while striking out 3, for his 11th save of the season. Combined, the three Greenville pitchers allowed just 3-hits and struck out 10.
Ockimey not only had the big homerun, he was the only player with two hits in the game, going 2-4 with a run and an RBI for the Greenville Drive. Chris Gittens, Jeff Hendrix, and Leonardo Molina had the only hits for the Charleson RiverDogs.
Game 2 of the series between these two teams continues tomorrow. Simon De La Rosa (1-2, 4.66) goes for the Charleston RiverDogs. Marc Brakeman (1-4,6.48) takes to the hill for Greenville. Game time is 6:05.
By Robert Pannier