Dermis Garcia belted his sixth RiverDogs homer for an insurance tally in the eighth, and the Charleston bullpen shored up their recent struggles to close out a 5-4 win over Delmarva on Saturday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. The win trims the RiverDogs’ magic number down to four with eight games remaining.
Garcia’s leadoff homer pushed the RiverDogs’ lead out to 5-3 to open the eighth inning, a projected 391-foot bomb that was the Yankees’ No. 22 prospect’s 15th of the season between Charleston (71-60, 37-24) and Pulaski.
After giving up one-run leads in the ninth the past two nights in walk-off losses, the RiverDogs bullpen got back to their dominant self, turning in four innings and allowing just one earned run to hold the lead. Matthew Wivinis logged his second save in his past two outings after an error led to an unearned tally in the ninth.
The win was the fifth of 10 games decided by one-run with the Shorebirds and pulled the season series even at five games apiece heading into Sunday’s finale.
After taking a 1-0 lead on Isiah Gilliam’s team leading 32nd double in the first, the Shorebirds (56-73, 27-34) answered quickly in the bottom half, taking a 2-1 lead on a Gerrion Grim two-out, two RBI single. Charleston’s Nick Nelson (3-11) had allowed just three first inning runs the entire season before yielding the two-out tally.
In the fifth, Charleston tied it at two apiece. Catcher Ryan Lidge singled back up the box before left fielder Pablo Olivares stroked a double down the right field line to pull the game even.
In the sixth, a costly error gave the RiverDogs the lead for good. With the bases loaded and one out, centerfielder Dom Thompson-Williams rolled a ground ball to second that Alejandro Juvier threw away into left field trying to turn two, allowing two runs to score and give the RiverDogs a 4-2 lead. Reliever Cody Dube (1-2) hit a batter and walked two more to put the bases full of RiverDogs and take the loss with two unearned tallies allowed.
After Garcia’s big fly padded the lead, Preston Palmeiro made it a one-run game after ending the game the night before in the 10th. The Orioles prospect cruised a two-out single to center to score Cole Billingsley who reached on an infield hit earlier in the inning.
A rare error by recently returned third baseman Angel Aguilar opened the door for Delmarva in the ninth. After Billingsley singled to put runners at the corners, right fielder Jake Ring smoked a ball to the deepest part of the park in dead center to drive in a run with a sac fly. Wivinis struck out Palmeiro to end the ballgame.
Aguilar finished 3-for-5 in his first game back with Charleston while lining into two outs. Lidge also enjoyed a 3-for-4 game to raise his average to .359 in 13 games. Oswaldo Cabrera’s hitting streak ended at a season-high 12 games.
-per Charleston RiverDogs