SALISBURY, Md. – The RiverDogs leaned on a big third inning and six solid frames from starter Jhony Brito to salvage a four-game split with the Delmarva Shorebirds in Monday night’s road trip finale from Perdue Stadium.
Brito (W, 4-3) filled up the zone early, retiring the first nine batters in a row to start the game before allowing a leadoff homer to center fielder Zach Watson in the fourth. The 21-year-old right-hander turned in his most impressive start since joining the rotation, allowing just the one marker across six frames while fanning six without a walk.
Charleston (53-55, 16-22) backed Brito’s strong effort with most of the offense they would need in the third, sending 10 men to the plate to score five times. Third baseman Max Burt and catcher Ryan Lidge each roped solid line drives for singles before Brandon Lockridge laid down a perfect bunt to third to fill the bags with nobody out to start the inning. Delmarva (73-34, 25-13) starter Hector Guance (L, 8-4) would struggle to find the zone from there on, plunking Oswald Peraza to push across the first run and walking in another later in the frame. Left fielder Canaan Smith added the only run-scoring hit of the frame, when he singled to plate the second tally in the of the inning.
The RiverDogs limped to the finish line with some shaky work from the bullpen. Tanner Myatt retired the first two batters he faced in the seventh before allowing a hit and walking three straight to get the Shorebirds back into the game. Shortstop Adam Hall got the Orioles affiliate to within a run when he plated a pair on a single into left field, chasing the towering righty from the game. Keegan Curtis was dropped into the game in a tough spot, runners at the corners and nobody out, and struck out right fielder Johnny Rizer to keep the lead intact.
In his second outing since a call up from Staten Island, Curtis would give up just an unearned run the rest of the way and settled in to retire the side in order in the ninth for his second save. The RiverDogs were gifted a pair of insurance tallies they would need in the eighth thanks to a pair of errors from reliever Yelin Rodriguez.
With the win, the RiverDogs finished off their longest remaining road trip on the year 3-4. Sitting 6.0 games back of first-place Augusta, the Charleston club will play 20 of their remaining 32 games at The Joe to close out the regular season as they approach the final month of the season.