Both starters were superb in Saturday night's contest, but Ben Ruta came up with a clutch single in the seventh inning to give the RiverDogs the only run they needed as they topped the Greenville Drive, 1-0, in front of 4,212 fans at The Joe.
Freicer Perez threw six frames of shutout ball, allowing just four hits and five strikeouts in a no-decision effort.
With the win, the RiverDogs (25-23) move within 4.5 games of the first-place Drive (29-18) in the Southern Division first half race with 22 games to play. It is the first time the RiverDogs are two games above .500 since April 29 when Charleston was out to a 13-11 start.
The Drive's starter Robby Sexton (0-5, 5.12) had a no-hitter going until catcher Eduardo Navas broke it up with a single in the sixth. Sexton was pulled in the seventh after allowing a leadoff double to third baseman Angel Aguilar. Hunter Smith came in for relief and surrendered the go-ahead single to Ruta that gave the RiverDogs a 1-0 lead.
Perez found himself in a bit of trouble in the the seventh. After surrendering a leadoff walk to right fielder Ryan Scott, he gave up a single to left fielder Tyler Hill putting runners on first and second with no one out. RiverDogs skipper Patrick Osborn put his trust in the hands of righty Christian Morris (2-1, 1.80) who came in relief of Perez. Morris got the first out on a sac bunt from catcher Roldani Baldwin, moving runners to second and third. After ground out and an intentional walk to load the bases, Morris got out of the jam by getting pinch hitter Chris Madera to ground out.
Morris went on to blanket the Drive in the eighth for his second inning of work and Trevor Lane tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
-per Charleston RiverDogs