Behind Tyler Wade’s career-high four base hits along with shutout relief work by Angel Rincon, the Charleston RiverDogs topped the Lexington Legends by a score of 10-3 on Thursday night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in South Atlantic League action.
Charleston bounced above .500 to a record of 17-16 in the second half while moving to 50-53 overall. Lexington fell to 11-22 and 40-63, respectively. The RiverDogs have won 14 of their last 17 games while the Legends have lost seven consecutive contests.
The first inning ended with a 1-1 score as both teams produced an early run. Charleston’s Abiatal Avelino returned from the disabled list with a one-out single and scored during a single by Wade that was coupled with an error. Lexington matched the run in the bottom of the inning as Carlos Garcia drew a walk, stole second base, and came home following back-to-back groundouts.
A three-run rally in the fourth gave the RiverDogs a 4-1 advantage. After a leadoff single, Wade scored from first base on a fielding error off a batted ball from Miguel Andujar. Two batters later, Eduardo de Oleo hit a two-run blast for his career-high and team-leading 12th home run.
Charleston stretched its lead to 6-1 in the top of the fifth. Mark Payton got into scoring position with a one-out single along with an error. Wade drove in Payton on a single and advanced to second base on a throw to home plate. Andujar singled to score Wade and add to the advantage.
Lexington answered with two runs of its own in its half of the fifth inning. With Chad Johnson at second base and Fred Ford extending the frame with a two-out walk, Carlos Garcia lashed a double to bring in Johnson and Ford and cut the deficit to 6-3.
Another error by the Legends in the seventh inning helped the RiverDogs to a 7-3 lead. Brandon Thomas delivered a leadoff single and stole second base while Payton was batting. Payton grounded out to move Thomas to third base. Following a walk, an error on a pickoff attempt at first base allowed Thomas to score and pushed Charleston’s lead to four.
Rincon, who came in following Garcia’s two-run double in the fifth inning, slammed the door shut on the Legends. The right-handed RiverDogs reliever struck out Humberto Arteaga to close the fifth. Following a two-out, sixth-inning single by Elier Hernandez, Rincon retired the next seven batters in a row to finish a victorious relief appearance.
During the ninth inning, Wade collected a two-out double that scored Thomas before Andujar singled to drive in Payton and Wade for a 10-3 advantage. Philip Walby came in from the bullpen and posted a scoreless ninth inning on his 22nd birthday to lock up the victory.
Wade went 4-for-5, scored two runs, and drove in two runs in the win. This tied Wade’s career high of four hits in a game, marking his third such performance this season. Also, Gosuke Katoh’s career-high and team-best 23-game on-base streak was snapped in Thursday’s contest.
Following 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, Rincon claimed the victory and went to 3-2 this season. Lexington starter Jake Junis allowed six runs, including just three earned runs, in a loss while sliding to 8-5.
COMING UP: The finale of this three-game series is scheduled for 7:05pm on Friday, featuring Charleston LHP Chaz Hebert (0-2, 3.58 ERA) and Lexington RHP Luke Farrell (1-8, 4.89 ERA). The next RiverDogs homestand is scheduled for Thursday, July 31 through Sunday, August 3 against the Hagerstown Suns. Upcoming promotions include Gullah Heritage Night, Robert English’s Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame enshrinement, Rainbows Day, and a postgame fireworks display. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com. If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on www.riverdogs.com and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.
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