Big Fourth Buries 'Birds in Charleston
CHARLESTON, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs exploded for six runs in the fourth inning, and the Delmarva Shorebirds couldn't play catchup in a 11-7 loss on Monday night at Joe Riley Park.
Jhony Brito (5-3) picked up the cheap win for the RiverDogs (21-23, 58-56), lasting five innings and giving up six runs on nine hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Hector Guance (8-5) got tattooed with the loss for the Shorebirds, surrendering seven runs on seven hits in three-plus innings while walking six, hitting two batters, and fanning three. Charlie Ruegger finished off the night with four innings of one-run ball, earning his first save.
Delmarva drew first blood in the top of the second. Doran Turchin worked a one-out walk, then Edison Lantigua singled to advance Turchin to third. Cody Roberts brought the first run home on a sac fly, then Alexis Torres bounced a single over first and into right, moving Lantigua to third. Jean Carlos Encarnacion and Johnny Rizer then managed back-to-back RBI singles, putting the Shorebirds in front 3-0.
The RiverDogs immediately got back into the game in the bottom of the second. Oliver Dunn led off with a single and Eduardo Navas worked a walk to put two on. After a strikeout and wild pitch, Brandon Lockridge singled both runners home to make it a one-run game. Two batters later Canaan Smith singled, and Josh Stowers managed a base hit of his own to score Lockridge and tie it at 3-3.
Charleston then busted the game wide open in the fourth. After a single and two walks loaded the bases with none out, Eric Wagaman drew a full count walk to force in the go-ahead run and knock Guance out of the game. Oliver Dunn greeted new pitcher Matthew Hammonds with an RBI single to make it 5-3 Charleston. After a strikeout, Eduardo Torrealba walked to force in another, and Lockridge doubled home two more. Torreabla eventually scored the sixth run of the inning on a balk, making it a six-run frame and a 9-3 RiverDog lead.
The Shorebirds wasted no time clawing their way back into it. Encarnacion, Rizer, and Zach Watson notched three straight singles to load the bases with none out in the fifth. Adam Hall brought home one run on an RBI groundout, and Ryne Ogren muscled a single past the mound and into center, scoring Rizer and Watson to get it down to 9-6 Charleston.
Delmarva got one more in the sixth on an RBI fielder's choice by Rizer to make it 9-7, but the RiverDogs grabbed the momentum back with a pair in the bottom of the sixth. Torrealba doubled home one run and Oswald Peraza notched his own two-out single, giving the game its final 11-7 margin.
Encarnacion turned in his second four-hit game of the season, going 4-for-5 with a double, run, and RBI at the top of the Shorebirds batting order. Rizer finished 2-for-5 with a run and two RBIs, while Ogren also drove in two runs.
Lockridge led the RiverDog attack from the leadoff slot, going 3-for-6 with a double, run, and four RBIs. Torreabla finished with a double, two hits, two runs, and two driven in from the nine-hole, and Dunn went 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored.
The game featured 23 combined hits between the two teams, 20 of them singles and just three doubles.
The loss drops the Shorebirds to just their second three-game losing streak of the season. Charleston has now won five in a row and has gone 7-3 in a 10-game stretch against first-place Delmarva and second-place Hickory since July 26.
The Shorebirds look to salvage the finale of the four-game set against the RiverDogs on Tuesday night. Adam Stauffer (0-0, 0.00) will get the nod for Delmarva against Charleston's Luis Medina (1-8, 6.89). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
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