No Sweep For You: Dash pull out a win in the last game of the series

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Dash bats finally broke back out, picking up 14 hits as starter Jorgan Cavanerio tossed his fourth excellent outing in five starts. Winston was able to avoid the sweep, beating the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the final game of their three-game series, 9-3.

Cavanerio has been solid all season since signing in May as a minor league free agent, but has really settled into a groove after one of his worst outings of the year, a five-run effort in just under five innings on June 23. Since then, he has thrown seven complete innings four times, including tonight, and has given up six hits max in those four starts (five, six, and four are the numbers, then three tonight). He’s also walked exactly one in each of those starts and has given up one or zero earned runs in all four. There’s a five-inning, three-run start mixed in there, but it’s hard to ask for more consistency than that.

Today, Cavanerio was throwing strikes and getting outs — two things you want in a pitcher. He entered the third inning having thrown 19 pitches, 18 of those for strikes. He gave up a double and a single to score a run and give Wilmington a 1-0 lead, but that was all they could manage off of him.

Cavanerio went seven full innings, allowing just three hits and one run, walking one and striking out five. Seven innings in the minors isn’t quite the same as seven innings in the majors; due to pitch counts and the general experience of learning how to pitch, not a lot of guys go deeper than that. John Parke went seven twice before his promotion to Birmingham. Jonathan Stiever has done it twice since his promotion from Kannapolis. Cavanerio, though, has done it four times in his last five starts. Nobody yet has made it to the eighth, as far as I can tell, but at 90 pitches, the 24-year-old probably could have started it. Also, he was helped by this Mitch Roman play:

Usually we get a good look at a few pitching prospects each ballgame, but Cavanerio didn’t leave much room for that. Kevin Escorcia started the eighth inning by striking out the first batter, but allowed a bunt single to the second. Escorcia actually had the runner picked off by a wide margin, but Jameson Fisher made a rare unambiguous error at first base. His throw sailed into the outfield and allowed the runner to advance to third. The next batter singled to drive him in, which was stressful at the time, making it just a 3-2 Dash lead. Escorcia racked up one more strikeout, but Will Kincanon got the ball to finish up the eight and the ninth, which he did, but not without some drama. The drama was a home run to lead off the ninth, then a single to follow, but a double play and a swinging strikeout wrapped things up nicely.

This was a 3-2 ballgame until the bottom of the eighth inning, and it looked like it was going to be another fairly quiet day at the plate. This was not to be. Craig Dedelow singled to open the half, then Zach Remillard reached via catcher interference on the next pitch. Fisher walked to load the bases with nobody out. Tate Blackman struck out (he did end up with two hits), then Evan Skoug had a lengthy at-bat that ended with a run-scoring walk, extending the lead to 4-2. 

Yeyson Yrizarri grounded into a force out that scored Remillard to make it 5-2. Then, with runners at the corners, Tyler Frost singled in Fisher from third to increase the Dash lead to 6-2. The inning continued after Roman barely beat out an infield single to re-juice the bases in front of Steele Walker. Walker has had a pretty rough go of July so far, not seeing results despite clearly not being overmatched, but he’s starting to turn it back on. Here, he turned it back on to the tune of a bases-clearing double, his 24th between two levels, putting the game out of reach at 9-2. 

Frost, Walker, Remillard, and Blackman all picked up two hits (two doubles for Walker, one for Frost). In fact, Frost and Fisher both hit their 21st doubles tonight. Roman had three hits, all singles. Fisher had a rare two-error game at first, both throws, perhaps a symptom of the deepening summer (to be fair, one of these errors was on a runner who was beaten by the throw by almost a full step, but was called safe).

It should be Kade McClure on the mound on Saturday at 6 pm, kicking off the series against the Down East Wood Ducks, who are visiting from down east.

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