Blaser drives in three as RiverDogs snap losing streak

Blaser drives in three as RiverDogs snap losing streak
Courtesy: Brian Patrick

CHARLESTON, SC - Dalton Blaser finished 2-for-3 with 3 RBI as the Charleston RiverDogs ended their four-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the Columbia Fireflies on Saturday in front of 4,782 fans at Joe Riley Park.

The Charleston (18-23) first baseman hit a hard grounder into hole on the left side for an infield knock that gave the RiverDogs their first lead, 3-1, and capped a three-run rally. Pablo Olivares was plated and center fielder Leonardo Molina, who advanced into scoring position on a pop up to the catcher in the previous at-bat, hustled around to score from second on the infield hit.

Molina finished with three hits of his own, driving in the tying run and scoring a pair. Molina had his 12-game hit streak snapped on Friday but raised his average to a season-best .250 with his 3-for-4 effort on Saturday.

Starting pitcher Alexander Vargas (2-0) went six innings, allowing an unearned run on five hits. The right-hander struck out four Fireflies (22-19), throwing 51 of his 76 pitches for strikes.

Righty Kyle Zurak threw a pair of scoreless frames and had two punch outs out of the pen. The Dogs sent their third right-hander to the bump in the ninth as Chad Martin issued a walk but closed out the contest without allowing a run.

Martin is yet to surrender an earned run this season. He has struck out 16 in 16 2/3 innings.

Charleston tacked on two runs in the eighth to clinch the victory. With one out, catcher Eduardo Navas drilled an RBI knock before Blaser drove in his third of the game on a sac fly.

The four-run victory was the largest margin between the Dogs and Fireflies this season, with the previous six meetings being separated by two runs or less. Charleston owns the season series lead, 4-3. The RiverDogs can salvage the four-game split with a win on Sunday before hitting the road for eight games.

-per Charleston RiverDogs