Gary Sanchez hit two monster home runs to pace the Charleston RiverDogs to a 13-2 win over the Greenville Drive in front of 5,017 fans at Fluor Field at the West End on Thursday night. The win moved Charleston to 33-20 on the year, and Greenville is now 27-26 with the loss. The Asheville Tourists won to maintain their 3.5 game lead in the South Atlantic League Southern Division.
The RiveDogs scored in six straight innings plating two runs in the second inning, one in the third, two in both the fourth and fifth, four in the sixth, and then two more in the seventh. Greenville scored a single run in the third and sixth innings.
With the two long balls, Sanchez (3-5, two HR's, double, five RBI) now has seven HR's on the year, and four in the last four games for the RiverDogs. Dante Bichette, Jr. hit his first homer of the year for Charleston, and Angelo Gumbs also went deep in the big win, his sixth this season and third in his last three games. All four home runs were two-run bombs.
Tyler Austin continued his hot hitting going two for four with two doubles and three runs scored. Cito Culver, Reymond Nunez, and Kelvin de Leon all chipped in with two hits as well. The only RiverDogs starter without a hit was Casey Stevenson. Greenville managed just five hits as a team, two by RF Drew Turocy. Boss Moanaroa did pick up a hit (1-4, double) to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest current streak in the South Atlantic League.
It was not all about the offense however. Wilton Rodriguez started for the RiverDogs and pitched well. He allowed just one unearned run in four innings of work on just two hits en route to the no decision. Brett Gerritse got the win out of the bullpen after allowing one run in three innings on two hits to improve to 1-1 on the year. Greenville starter Jason Garcia (1-3) got rocked for nine hits, seven runs, and three walks while allowing two homers.
The second game of the series will feature a very good pitching matchup with righty Bryan Mitchell (4-2, 2.40 ERA) on the mound for Charleston, and RHP Yeiper Castillo (4-1, 3.20 ERA) starting for the Drive. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm on Friday night in Greenville.