The Charleston RiverDogs leapt out to an early lead with a seven-run second inning, and didn’t look back as eight RiverDogs collected hits and the club cruised to an 11-3 victory over the Rome Braves on Tuesday night at State Mutual Stadium.
Charleston starter Freicer Perez (3-3) was brilliant, striking out seven and holding Rome (41-35, 3-3) to two runs over six innings to garner the win. The Dominican righty sent down the first seven batters in a row, including striking out the side in the second, before giving up a one out hit to second baseman Jordan Rodgers in the third, one of just four hits, all singles, allowed by the Yankees’ No. 27 prospect.
Designated hitter Isiah Gilliam ripped two extra-base hits, a double and a triple, to drive in three, and second baseman Diego Castillo collected three RBI, going 2-for-5 from the two spot to lead the big offensive night for Charleston (38-38, 4-2).
Catcher Donny Sands led off the big second inning for Charleston, reaching on an error by third baseman Kurt Hoekstra who let one roll under his glove in what proved to be a crucial blunder. With two outs, Charleston rattled off back-to-back hits before the newest RiverDog, third baseman Chris Hess, bounced into a fielder’s choice that should have ended the inning, but instead scored Sands. The next five Charleston hitters reached with Hoy Park, Castillo, Gilliam, and Sands all driving in runs. The seven runs marked the most put up by the RiverDogs in a single inning this year as the club sent 11 men to the plate to put the game away early. All seven runs were charged unearned to lefty Tucker Davidson (1-3) who exited after just 1 2/3 innings.
Rome tallied two in the fourth, finally getting to Perez with three hits, all singles, including a run-scoring knock from catcher Lucas Herbert with two outs to make it 7-2.
The RiverDogs added three more in the sixth. With one out, Hess walked before Park singled and both runners moved up on a ball misplayed in right by Ventura. Castillo grounded out to drive in Hess, and centerfielder Blake Rutherford doubled to plate another. Gilliam’s three-bagger put Charleston out to a 10-2 lead. Ben Ruta’s sac fly made it the largest lead of the night, 11-2 in the seventh.
After a scoreless seventh, RiverDogs southpaw Trevor Lane allowed a run in the eighth, his first earned run that ended a streak of 19.2 innings to raise his ERA to a 0.97 mark. Luis Cedeno recorded a 1-2-3 ninth in mop up duty for his first game back with Charleston.
The RiverDogs continue their eight-game road trip to start the second half, taking on the Braves in game three on Wednesday night at 7pm. Charleston will send right-hander Nick Nelson (0-6, 5.74) on the hunt for his first career win to face right-hander Jeremy Walker (3-6. The game can be tuned into on WTMA 1250 AM and streaming online via the RiverDogs’ TuneIn radio station.