Gonzalez's Blast Ruins Rome as RiverDogs Win, 1-0
CHARLESTON, SC -- Left fielder Edwar Gonzalez blasted a sixth inning solo home run while Eric Hacker and Mike Martinez limited Rome to only two hits as the Charleston RiverDogs shutout the Braves, 1-0, in South Atlantic League action Saturday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
The shutout was the fifth of the year for Charleston as the RiverDogs improve to 6-3 in the second half and 49-29 on the season. Rome falls to 2-7 and 41-36. Charleston pitching has now shut out the Braves for the last 14 consecutive innings in the series.
Charleston also improves to 34-10 when scoring first and 14-9 in one-run games. Hacker (5-2) has won all three of his second-half starts, and has allowed only two runs in 22 innings pitched over those three games.
The RiverDogs collected eight hits on the evening, highlighted by Gonzalez's third round tripper of the season, with catcher Luis Robles accounting for two in his RiverDogs debut. DH Jordan DeVoir also had two hits.
Hacker pitched brilliantly, going eight complete innings and allowing only two hits, one walk and striking out seven as he ups his seasonal record to 5-3. Martinez, who continues to lead the SAL in saves, now has a perfect 23 saves in 23 opportunities.
With the aid of Martinez closing, the RiverDogs are now 43-1 when leading after eight innings.
Rome starter Matt Harrison also pitched very well, as he tossed seven innings and allowed five hits, walked none and struck out three as his record fell to 7-4. Arthur Santos pitched the eighth inning for Rome and gave up three hits.
Rome's two hits were recorded by Matt Young and Yunel Escobar.
The game lasted only 1 hour and 50 minutes, the RiverDogs' fastest nine-inning game of the season.
The win also gives Charleston a 2-1 edge in the four-game series with the finale set for 6:05 p.m. Sunday. Southpaw Chase Wright (5-3) toes the rubber for Charleston while Rome counters with right-hander Luis Atilano (5-4).
After Sunday's contest, the RiverDogs take to the road for eight games, beginning with a four-game series at Greensboro and then for another four-game set at Augusta. Charleston returns home on Wednesday, July 13, when the Hickory Crawdads come to the Holy City for the first time this year and opens the beginning of an eight-game home stand.
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