CHARLESTON, S.C. – A solo home run by Josh Breaux got the Charleston RiverDogs on the board Monday night, leading them to a crucial 5-2 game four victory over the Augusta GreenJackets in front of 3,210 at Joe Riley Park.
Breaux pulled the first pitch he saw down the left field line to even the score at one marker apiece in the bottom of the second inning, pulling starter Jio Orozco (4-2, 2.53) back off the hook in his sixth start of the season. With the shot, he pulled into a tie for fifth in the South Atlantic League in RBI with an even 30 on the season.
For the fourth time in four games, though, Augusta (22-21) put a tally on the scoreboard first. Jacob Gonzalez yanked an 0-2 offering from Orozco down the left field line and just over the wall in the top of the second, similar to where Breaux’s landed a half-inning later.
After Breaux’s blast to even the contest at one, Orozco settled in nicely. Charleston’s (24-20) righty retired 11 of the next 14 GreenJackets he faced, providing much-needed rest for Charleston’s taxed bullpen. Orozco’s strong effort marked his fifth quality start in six outings since joining Charleston’s rotation. He struck out seven GreenJackets, marking the second time in his last three starts that he fanned at least seven.
Entering Monday night’s game, the RiverDogs and GreenJackets required at least one extra frame in the first three games of the series, the first time since June 6-8, 2004 that Charleston had gone to extra innings in three straight games. Orozco was relieved in the seventh by Nolan Martinez, ending his evening with six innings pitched and just the one run allowed on two hits and two walks.
The Dogs took the lead in the home half of the third, when one of Charleston’s hottest hitters, Canaan Smith, came through with a clutch two-out RBI single off Augusta starter Keaton Winn (2-3, 3.82) to drive Eduardo Navas home after he walked to lead off the frame.
Charleston wasn’t done, making sure this contest didn’t reach extras for a fourth straight night with another run-scoring single by Smith in the fifth and a two-run double by Kyle Gray following the seventh-inning stretch.
Martinez, making his season debut in relief of Orozco, pitched well in his second stint in the Holy City. Die-hard RiverDogs fans remember him from his five RiverDogs appearances in 2018, when he went 0-4 with a 6.48 ERA in 25 innings.
He turned those numbers right around Monday night, sealing the 5-2 win with three strong innings, allowing a run on two hits and striking out three. He nailed down his first career save in the effort.
Those in attendance down at The Joe Monday night weren’t alone; everyone was allowed to bring their furry friend to the Dogs game as part of another Dog Day Monday at Joe Riley Park. The night was complete with bowls set up throughout the concourse to keep all the puppies hydrated. That wasn’t all, though, as fans enjoyed $1 beer and hot dogs presented by Busch Light up on the Ashley View Pub to unwind after a long Monday at work.
Charleston will try to rebound from the series loss to Augusta when they hit the road to take on the Asheville Tourists for a four-game set in North Carolina. The two clubs will meet for the first time since the second series of the year, when Asheville took two-of-three, including a sweep of a doubleheader on April 9. Charleston was outscored 28-11 in the series, so they’ll look to regain their offensive momentum with Daniel Bies (2-1, 3.57) on the bump Tuesday night. Bies will be opposed by southpaw Alfredo Garcia (0-4, 9.55).