CHARLESTON, SC - The RiverDogs took a seven-run deficit into a 30-minute lightning delay and shortened the difference to three tallies but were defeated by the Delmarva Shorebirds, 11-6, in front of 4,207 at Joe Riley Park on Thursday night.
Delmarva (48-40, 12-2) scored four first inning runs off RiverDogs' (45-42, 12-7) starting pitcher Jio Orozco (1-2), tied for the most given up in the first inning by the Dogs this season.
Three more came across for the Shorebirds in the third on a Branden Becker home run. The Northern Division leaders added an unearned run in the fifth off Dalton Higgins, who only threw one inning because of the delay.
Following three strong innings from Alexander Vargas after the holdup, the RiverDogs scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth, starting with an RBI single from shortstop Wilkerman Garcia. A wild pitch scored centerfielder Matt McPhearson before third baseman Oswaldo Cabrera delivered an RBI double to bring home Garcia. A two-out error allowed Cabrera to score, trimming the Delmarva lead to 8-5.
The Shorebirds responded to Charleston's rally by tagging Vargas for three runs in the top of the ninth. The RiverDogs threatened again in their last at-bat, but a McPhearson single that scored left fielder Mitchell Hansen was the lone run the Holy City managed before a game-ending double-play ball with the bases loaded.
McPhearson extended his hit-streak to six games in the defeat. The Baltimore-area native is 11 for his last 27 (.407) at the plate. He finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and an RBI on Thursday.
The RiverDogs had a season-long four-game winning streak snapped on Monday in Columbia. Charleston is winless since, falling to 0-3 and dropping their first series since Asheville claimed the only game between the clubs on June 24. This is the first series of three or more games that the Dogs have lost in the second half.
Charleston had lost just two games by five or more runs all season before Delmarva beat them by six and five runs in the first two games of the series.
How big of a baseball fan are you? The RiverDogs know and let fans express it on "Buzzfeed Night." There were in-game quizzes, trendy between-inning games and videos, and dollar beers aplenty as it was also a Budweiser Thirsty Thursday presented by 95SX. DJ Natty Heavy kept the Budweiser Ashley View Pub bumping all game.