Dogs Pile on Five in Opening Frame to Roll over BlueClaws
CHARLESTON, S.C. - After the Lakewood BlueClaws scored a first-inning run on Wednesday night, the Charleston RiverDogs took the lead on right fielder Carlos Vidal's two-run double to spark a five-run first and cruise past Lakewood, 7-2, in front of 5,933 at Joe Riley Park.
A Rodolfo Duran sacrifice fly scored Dalton Guthrie for Lakewood's (71-43, 30-15) opening-inning tally, but three consecutive Charleston (53-59, 20-24) hits led to a pair of runs and the lead for the RiverDogs in the bottom half. Second baseman David Metzgar and catcher Jason Lopez crossed on Vidal's double off Lakewood southpaw Damon Jones (7-6). Vidal later scored on a Wilkerman Garcia RBI knock. Third baseman Welfrin Mateo walked and scored on a sacrifice fly and Garcia was eventually plated with the help of an error and a wild pitch for the inning's final run.
Vidal finished 2-for-2 and drew three walks, a new single-game career best for the lefty outfielder. The Colombian born hitter is 7-for-15 with four runs in his last five games. He also had a pair of outfield assists on Wednesday including cutting down Colby Fitch at the plate to end the second inning.
The first inning outburst was all the help right-hander Miguel Yajure (4-2) needed as he surrendered one run in five innings of work. The 20-year-old has allowed two runs over his last three outings, totaling 15 innings for a 1.20 ERA.
The RiverDogs added two insurance tallies in the sixth inning, the first of which came on a solo home run from Leonardo Molina. The center fielder's fly ball to left went off the glove of Josh Stephen and over the fence to extend Charleston's lead to five. Left fielder Mitchell Hansen followed up the dinger by reaching on a dropped catch error by Stephen and scoring on a single from Lopez.
The catcher Lopez finished 3-for-5, matching a season-high, seven-game hitting streak with his first inning single. The Venezuelan backstop has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 contests and is raking at a .407 clip in his last 59 at-bats, good for second in the league during that span.
Righty Daniel Alvarez pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings with a pair of punchouts to close out the night. The 22-year-old has allowed one earned run in his first 10 innings with the RiverDogs this season.
The five-run differential marked the 10th Dogs victory by five or more runs this season. Charleston is 10-6 in blowout games and 7-4 at The Joe in such contests.
Charleston gave away RiverDogs Alex Rodriguez bobbleheads to the first 1,000 fans through the gates, commemorating the three-time MVP's rehab assignment to the Holy City in 2013. On a "Way Back Wednesday," the Dogs donned their teal and purple uniforms from the inaugural 1994 season while offering $4 ticket options. Also, Service Master raised over $32,000 for the MUSC Burned Children's Fund on Firefighter Night at The Joe.
Thursday's series finale starts at 7:05 as right-hander Janson Junk (5-3, 3.88) takes on Lakewood lefty Will Stewart (7-1, 2.06). It is another Budweiser ThirstyThursday presented by 95SX where fans can enjoy dollar beers in the Budweiser Ashley View Pub while taking in the sounds of DJ Natty Heavy. Thursday's contest can be heard on "The Big Talker" WTMA 1250 AM and streaming live at riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs' TuneIn radio station.
RiverDogs single-game tickets, including options to the Riley Park Club, are available for the remainder of the 2018 campaign, the club's 25th season as the RiverDogs and their "175th season in dog years." Ticket information can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com.
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