CHARLESTON, S.C. – A three-run second inning highlighted by Brandon Lockridge’s fifth triple of the season aided the Dogs in taking the game two over the Greenville Drive 7-2 Saturday night with 4,392 strong in the seats at Riley Park.
Even with the Holy City (72-66, 35-33) officially eliminated from playoff contention, the home nine are far from ready to mail it in with two games left in the 2019 regular season. The Dogs got the scoring kicked off early, when Welfrin Mateo and Eduardo Navas drew back-to-back walks with one out in the bottom of the second.
Greenville (56-81, 24-43) hurler Yusniel Padron-Artilles (0-2, 5.25) fanned Eduardo Torrealba for the second out, but Brandon Lockridge swatted an 0-1 pitch out to right field that just kept carrying. Kervin Suarez was unable to haul it in, and the two infielders scored easily while Lockridge cruised into third base, giving Charleston the early 2-0 lead in the process. Oswald Peraza followed with a double of his own two pitches later to plate Lockridge.
The three-bagger was part of Lockridge’s first career four-hit night, and the fourth of the season by a Charleston hitter. The feat was previously accomplish by Canaan Smith, Oswald Peraza and Josh Stowers.
The early run support backed a solid Harold Cortijo (5-4, 3.45), who spun 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball in his final start of the season. The only tallies yielded by the righty came on an RBI groundout by Tyler Dearden in the fourth inning and a two out solo shot by Brandon Howlett in the sixth. The homer marked the end of a stretch of seven consecutive Drive hitters retired by Cortijo. Jordan Wren followed the blast with a single and Dearden drew a free pass to chase Cortijo from the contest.
Ron Marinaccio took over from there and was dominated the Drive the rest of the game. The Toms River native fanned four in three no-hit innings, issuing just a single walk to garner his fourth save of the season and moving into second place on the club in that category. The win marked Charleston’s third straight game recording a double-digit hit total.
The Dogs tacked onto their lead in the sixth inning, when an infield single by Oswald Peraza that brought Eduardo Torrealba home got the run right back for the Dogs, extending the lead to 4-2. Charleston added three more in the eighth on singles by Torrealba, Lockridge and Peraza to ice the 7-2 win. By the time the final out was recorded, seven of the starting nine hitters recorded at least one hit, and all nine reached base safely. In addition to Lockridge’s historic night, Peraza and Torrealba both recorded three hits, marking the third such game of the season for the latter. Torrealba has now produced a multiple hits in four of his last six games, a stretch where he has gone 11-for-25 (.440).
The RiverDogs had something special in mind for the final helicopter ball drop of the season, presented by Natural Light Seltzer. Not only has the prize money rolled over from August 3, but there was also a Natty Light Seltzer at-home tailgate up for grabs. The with the ticket that corresponds to the ball that landed closest to home plate had the chance to leave with the special treat in addition to $6,000. It was also Back the Blue Night at The Joe, and local law enforcement members received up to four complimentary tickets at the box office with a badge or proper identification.