LAKEWOOD, N.J. – Right-hander Roansy Contreras turned in six quality innings while striking out seven as the RiverDogs avoided a three-game sweep from the BlueClaws on Thursday night at First Energy Park.
The RiverDogs (51-53, 14-20) shook off a three-game losing skid behind their 19-year-old starter’s terrific outing. Contreras (W, 7-5) gave up a 2-0 lead with a pair allowed in the third but clamped down from there, allowing just the two early hits while working around three walks. It marked the Dominican Republic arm’s fifth straight start turning in at least five innings and allowing two earned runs or less.
Charleston took the lead for the good in the sixth, breaking a 2-2 tie when Eric Wagaman got the job done with the bases loaded, grounding into a fielder’s choice play to score Canaan Smith. Smith singled before back-to-back walks from Francisco Morales (L, 1-5) filled the bases with one out to set up the prime chance. In the seventh, Brandon Lockridge broke out of a 0-for-10 skid to single into center field, scoring Oliver Dunn, who drew a leadoff walk, to give the Dogs a two-run cushion.
Lakewood (41-61, 12-20) made it an uncomfortable finish by erasing the insurance marker in the seventh. Left Tim Hardy left a 1-2 pitch up that left fielder Malvin Matos laced into left for a double and later scored on a ground out by Ben Pelletier to pull the BlueClaws within a run.
Hardy continued on the mound up until there was one out in the ninth before he was lifted by manager Julio Mosquera. Keegan Curtis inherited the game’s tying run on first and worked around the leadoff free pass to retire the only two batters he faced in his RiverDogs debut. Dunn bailed him out on a terrific pick at the hot corner before the Alabama native struck out Seth Lancaster looking to help the Dogs hang on and avoid the sweep.
The victory snapped an overall six-game losing streak for the Dogs dating back to the 2017 season. The Holy City had dropped their last four road contests for just the second time all year before hanging on for the one-run victory.