The Charleston RiverDogs chased Augusta starter Joey Marciano with a four-run fifth inning, and three eighth inning errors gave the Dogs as many unearned insurance runs as Charleston defeated the GreenJackets, 7-4, in front of 4,300 at Riley Park on Thursday.
Marciano (4-3) left with two outs in the fourth after a stolen base and a throwing error by catcher Jeffry Parra allowed second baseman Wilkerman Garcia to score. Left fielder Carlos Vidal started the inning with a single and came home on Pablo Olivares’ RBI single. Garcia followed suit with a run-scoring knock to plate right fielder Leonardo Molina. Shortstop Oswaldo Cabrera drove a sacrifice fly to right field, bringing home Olivares to give the Dogs (42-39, 9-4) a 4-2 lead.
Olivares raised his average to .346 with his 2-for-4 effort. The Venezuelan outfielder is raking at a .360 clip since the start of May and is five plate appearances shy of qualifying for the South Atlantic League leaderboard. If he qualified, the 20-year-old would lead the circuit in hitting.
Charleston got three eighth-inning runs on a trio of Augusta errors. Jason Lopez rolled into a fielder’s choice but came around to score on a throwing error that made its way to the right field corner. The third error, a fielding miscue by right fielder Logan Baldwin on a Carlos Vidal single, scored Chris Hess. A John Timmins wild pitch gave the RiverDogs their final insurance run as Vidal crossed.
Right-hander Jio Orozco (1-1) delivered with six quality innings, allowing two runs and striking out a season-best seven GreenJackets (42-41, 5-10) en route to his first RiverDogs win of the season.
Orozco allowed two Augusta runs in the top of the fifth, snapping a 16-inning consecutive scoreless streak, dating back to June 13. The 20-year-old allowed just one leadoff baserunner, giving opposing hitters just four hits and a walk in 42 chances to start an inning against him this season.
Right-handed relievers Austin DeCarr and Kyle Zurak shut the door for the RiverDogs. DeCarr threw a scoreless seventh while Zurak gave up two ninth inning runs, stranding the tying run at the plate.
With the victory, Charleston avoided a third straight loss for the first time in nearly two months when Hagerstown and Columbia combined to down the Dogs in four consecutive contests from May 15-18.
The RiverDogs’ victory protected their early second half lead atop the Southern Division, matching Asheville’s league-best ninth victory since the All-Star break.
Fans enjoyed dollar beers and the mixes of DJ Natty Heavy in the Budweiser Ashley View Pub on a Budweiser “Red, White & Brews” Thirsty Thursday. The RiverDogs are now 7-1 in Budweiser Thirsty Thursday’s at The Joe this season.
Friday’s rubber match is a battle of right-handers as Charleston’s Miguel Yajure (2-0, 2.37) matches up with Augusta’s wins leader Jose Marte (6-2, 3.53) at 7:05 p.m.Friday’s contest can be heard on “The Big Talker” WTMA 1250 AM with audio streaming live at riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs’ TuneIn radio station, simulcasting live video on MiLB.tv.