CHARLESTON, S.C. – A pair of four-run frames aided the Lexington Legends in taking the series finale from the RiverDogs 10-3 Sunday night in front of 3,946 at Joe Riley Park.
Charleston (50-51, 13-18), looking to grab a series win for the first time since June 24-26 before hitting the road, received shaky start from the usually-solid Harold Cortijo (4-2, 2.53) on getaway day. Through his first seven starts of the season with Charleston, the righty had gone at least five innings without allowing more than two runs in each outing.
The first of the two four run frames that ultimately did the Dogs in occurred in the top of the fifth, when a leadoff walk to John Rave set the table for the Legends (50-49, 13-17) to crack the game open. Rudy Martin hit into a fielder’s choice that saw Rave forced out at second. Martin stole second base and came around to score on a double by Nathan Eaton. Lexington added three more on an RBI fielder’s choice, single and sacrifice fly to give the Legends a 6-1 lead after the top of the sixth.
The Legends scored their first two runs of the night on an odd play in the fourth, when Chris Hudgins lined the first pitch he saw down the right field line and into the corner with Nathan Eaton on base. Frederick Cuevas went to field the ball, but threw his arms up in the air to signify that the ball was unplayable. Bases umpire James Jean went out to have a look, and ruled it an inside-the-park home run for Hudgins, who never stopped running.
The second four-run inning for the visiting team came in the top of the seventh, against the duo of newly-promoted Tim Hardy and Jefry Valdez. Eaton reached on an error by Mickey Gasper to lead off the frame, and a hit-by-pitch and walk chased Hardy from the game. Valdez entered in relief and allowed a two-run single to Rubendy Jaquez and a two-run double to Jeison Guzman to put the game out of reach, 10-3.
Overall, Cortijo finished his outing with 4 2/3 innings under his belt and six runs allowed on six hits and two walks. Hardy and Valdez were responsible for the other four in 3 2/3 innings before Carlos Espinal settled things down with a scoreless ninth inning.