Estevan Florial cranked a two-run shot to dead center that tied the ballgame in the third as the Charleston RiverDogs slugged a total of three home runs to overcome a 3-0 deficit and topple the Tourists, 8-3, in a rain-shortened contest on Wednesday night in front of an announced 3,398 at Joe Riley Park.
Pinch hit replacement and right fielder Dalton Blaser smashed his second home run in as many days, and Brandon Wagner also collected his second of the season. It was the second time in the last two games Charleston collected three longballs as an offense after the club had not collected more than two as a team prior.
Wednesday’s evening’s game two will be made up as part of a doubleheader beginning Thursday night at 6:05pm at The Joe.
Mandy Alvarez started to chip away at the lead in the second when he stroked a double down the right field line to score Blaser who singled to lead off the inning. The Miami, Fla. native finished 2-for-2 with a walk in his first game back with Charleston after being recalled from High-A Tampa on Sunday.
Third baseman Oswaldo Cabrera drew a leadoff walk in the third to set up Florial’s team-leading seventh of the season that pulled the RiverDogs even at three apiece.
Blaser led off the fourth frame with a solo blast to right-center for his second homer in six games with Charleston to give the RiverDogs a 4-3 lead. Charleston went on to bat around in the inning, adding two more runs on RBI singles by Cabrera and left fielder Ben Ruta.
In the fifth with two outs, Alvarez walked before Wagner brought in a pair on a big fly to right-center.
Charleston starter Brian Keller (4-5, 4.30) settled in after giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits all in the first two innings. The Wisconsin native yielded just three hits across four shutout frames the rest of the way to snap a streak of three straight losing decisions. The former UW-Milwaukee Panther fanned five with no walks across six innings to garner his fourth win.
With the rain-shortened affair, the second game of the scheduled doubleheader will be made up as part of a twin bill tomorrow with a pair of scheduled seven-inning games slated for a 6:05pm first pitch on a Budweiser Thirsty Thursday presented by 95SX. Tickets from tonight’s and Tuesday’s games can be redeemed for any remaining home games (excluding July 3) at the RiverDogs box office.
Firefighter Night originally scheduled for as part of Wednesday night’s festivities will be rescheduled for a later date.