CHARLESTON, SC - Designated hitter Dermis Garcia hustled around for an inside-the-park home run as the Charleston RiverDogs tied a season-best 16 hits en route to claiming the series against the Rome Braves, 11-3, in front of a rowdy 5,712 at Riley Park on Thursday.
Garcia smoked a hit to left center for his third of the night in the sixth inning. A failed diving effort from center fielder Drew Waters allowed the ball to trickle to the wall, giving Manager Julio Mosquera the confidence to send Garcia home. The round-tripper was the third inside-the-park four-bagger that Rome's (43-34, 3-5) defense has surrendered this season.
The 20-year-old nearly hit a second home run with a double high off the centerfield wall in his final at-bat, finishing the night 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs. The Dominican Republic native got his cardio in as he also stole his first base of the season.
Center fielder Pablo Olivares continued to tear the cover off the ball with a 2-for-3 night in which he got on base four times. The reigning SAL Player of the Week is batting .500 (13-for-26) in the second half and is raking at a league-best .380 clip since the start of May. The Venezuelan outfielder also collected his 12th RBI in six games.
Altogether, eight Holy City hitters had base hits, including six multi-hit nights. With Garcia's home run, Charleston (37-36, 4-1) has 12 in their first six games of the second half.
The RiverDogs reached the 10-run mark for just the sixth time this season and are now averaging 8.2 runs in the second half. Charleston has also laced double-digit knocks in every game post-All-Star break.
Right-hander Deivi Garcia (1-1) earned his first Class-A victory with his five innings of work in which he struck out seven. Garcia allowed a run in each the first and third but found a groove and retired the last eight Braves he faced.
Alexander Vargas made his third relief appearance, recording his second save by going the final four innings, surrendering a run.
A Friday victory would give the Dogs their first home sweep of the season and their second in three series since the break. Charleston took all three games in Lexington last week.
The Budweiser Clydesdales made an appearance on Budweiser Thirsty Thursday presented by 95SX. Fans could see the horses galloping up Fishburne street and on the field between innings but could not share a dollar beer or dance with them to DJ Natty Heavy's beats in the Budweiser Ashley View Pub.