Daris Vargas Dazzles in 3-1 Charleston RiverDogs Victory
Charleston RiverDogs fans better enjoy the pitching exploits of Daris Vargas now. At the rate he is pitching he will not be in the South Carolina city for very much longer. The right-hander continued to shine Monday, shutting down the Greenville Drive for 5.2 innings in a 3-1 Charleston win. That moved the RiverDogs to 23-13 on the season, and extended their lead over the Greenville Drive to five games.
Vargas was opposed by Jose Almonte (0-1), and both pitchers looked sharp in the first inning. In the second, the RiverDogs jumped out on top. Kyle Holder singled with one out and Angel Aguilar followed with his fifth home run of the year. Aguilar had been hitless in the previous two games, but he left no doubt on this shot, clearing the left field wall with plenty to spare and staking his team to a 2-0 lead.
It would stay that way until the sixth when Aguilar would come through again. Jhalan Jackson doubled to start the frame and moved to third on a ground out by Holder. Aguilar then lined a single into left that scored Jackson and staked his team to the three-run lead.
That would be plenty enough run support for Vargas (3-0). The right-hander dominated the plate, allowing just 2-hits and 3-walks with no runs in 5.2 innings. He struck out 8, including two in each of the first two innings of the game. The RiverDogs starter struck out at least one batter in every inning, except the fourth, and 50 of his 90 pitches went for strikes.
In the sixth, he began the inning by striking out Joseph Monge and, after walking Luis Alejandro, he struck out Tate Matheny for his eighth of the game. That would be his last batter as he reached his pitch count.
Anyelo Gomez then took over and he pitched nearly as well. Gomez (1) went the final 3.1 innings, allowing just 1-hit and a run. The run came in the bottom of the ninth, spoiling the shutout. Josh Ockimey walked to start the frame. Gomez retired the next two batters, but unleashed a wild pitch that moved Ockimey to second. Chad De La Guerra then reached on an error that scored Ockimey and it was 3-1. With the tying run at the plate Gomez was not rattled at all, striking out Kemp to end the game. It was Gomez’s first save of the season.
Aguilar ended his 0-8 run by going 2-4 with a run. He also drove in all three runs the RiverDogs scored. Shortstop Joy Hun Park also had two hits, going 2-5 with a triple.
Tuesday these two teams will continue their three-game series. The RiverDogs will send Luis Cedeno to the hill. He will be making his first start. Cedeno will be opposed by Roniel Raudes (4-1, 3.33) for the Greenville Drive. Game time is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier