The Charleston RiverDogs pitching staff extended its scoreless innings streak to 20 straight with a second consecutive shutout of the Lexington Legends on Sunday, 5-0, in front of a crowd of 4,824 at Joe Riley Park.
Starting pitcher Alexander Vargas (1-0) made his season debut with the RiverDogs (15-15), striking out seven Legends in five innings of two-hit baseball. Vargas was added to the roster on Saturday in place of Nick Nelson who was promoted to Advanced-A Tampa.
Brian Trieglaff and Matt Wivinis added strong relief, as the righties struck out three without allowing a baserunner in their four combined innings out of the pen.
Offensively, Leonardo Molina went 3-for-4, ripping a pair of doubles and driving in two runs on the first two-bagger in the third inning. Molina had three of the Dogs’ five hits on Sunday, the third three-hit game of the 20-year-old Dominican Republic native’s career.
Charleston scored all its runs in the third inning. There were four walks on a Lexington (14-14) error in the half inning, as the RiverDogs needed just one hit, a two-run double by Molina, to hang the crooked number.
Third baseman Chris Hess did draw a bases-loaded walk in the third, giving him his team-high 15th RBI, but failed to collect a base hit, snapping his six-game hitting streak.
After Vargas recorded his fifth strikeout to end the second inning, it gave RiverDogs starters their 112th strikeout in their last 100 innings of work. Charleston starters have a 1.92 ERA going back their last 103 innings.
Sunday was the team’s fourth time holding an opponent scoreless this season, and the first time the Dogs have recorded back-to-back shutouts. Sunday’s win also marks the third shutout in the last five games, all at Riley Park.
The RiverDogs lowered their league-best team ERA to a miniscule 2.44 mark.
-per Charleston RiverDogs