Outfielder Dalton Blaser homered for his third consecutive game and Isiah Gilliam clobbered a two-run shot over the video board in right field as the Charleston RiverDogs slugged their way to a 3-1 victory over the Asheville Tourists, before falling 2-0 in game two to settle for a doubleheader split on Thursday night in front of 4,507 at Joe Riley Park.
Blaser’s streak of three consecutive games with a homer, his first three with Charleston (30-29) in just seven games, came to an end in the latter contest of the evening’s twin bill after the RiverDogs were shut out for the fifth time on the year in a pitchers’ duel that stood in stark contrast to the slugfest of an opener.
The solo fly by Blaser in the third was answered in a hurry by Asheville (26-32) shortstop Jose Gomez who pulled a one-run dinger down the right field line for his second against the RiverDogs this year that pulled the Tourists even in the following inning. Gilliam’s seventh of the season and his third in his last five games gave the RiverDogs the 3-1 lead for good. Charleston matched their season-long winning streak by stringing together their fourth consecutive win.
After logging their third consecutive game with multiple home runs, Charleston’s offense managed just three hits, none for extra-bases, off Asheville righty Brandon Gold who turned in six shutout innings to blank Charleston in game two. The Georgia Tech product outlasted RiverDogs righty Freicer Perez (1-3, 3.77) in the duel. Charleston’s game two starter took a tough luck loss, yielding just three hits and one earned run in six frames while striking out five.
Asheville got on the board before even collecting a hit in the second. After back-to-back one-out walks from Perez, a wild pitch moved right fielder Willie Abreu to third before first baseman Joel Diaz made it 1-0 Tourists on an RBI ground out to short.
Asheville added the insurance run in the seventh off reliever David Sosebee who surrendered a leadoff double to Max George before Taylor Snyder brought him home on a one out single.
Nick Green (4-4, 2.75) turned in seven strong innings for Charleston in game one to pick up the win. The Colorado native allowed one run on seven hits while fanning four batters from the Rockies affiliate’s lineup to pick up his first win of the season at home.
The RiverDogs head to Columbia to play five games in four days against the Fireflies, the Class A affiliate of the New York Mets, starting on Friday night from Spirit Communications Park. The RiverDogs will roll out lefty Phillip Diehl (6-1, 3.79) in the opener. Columbia’s starter is TBD. First pitch is set for 7:05pm. The game can be caught on WTMA 1250 AM “The Big Talker,” and online streaming via the TuneIn Radio app under the “Charleston RiverDogs” station.