SALISBURY, MD - The RiverDogs broke up a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning before relievers Austin DeCarr and Carlos Espinal combined to pitch a shutout over the final three innings as the RiverDogs claimed Sunday's road trip finale, 4-2, to force a series split with the Delmarva Shorebirds at Perdue Stadium.
After coughing up two-run leads in the sixth inning or later each of the last two nights, Charleston (52-58, 19-23) staved off a late Shorebirds (56-53, 21-21) to finish out the seven-day stint away from Riley Park, 2-5. DeCarr came up one out shy of his first career save, yielding just a hit over the seventh and eighth innings before getting into trouble in the ninth with a hit by pitch and a four-pitch walk that brought the winning run to the plate. Espinal (SV, 1) threw just two pitches to get catcher Ben Breazeale to ground out to end the ballgame.
In the seventh, Wilkerman Garcia drilled a 3-1 fastball to right-center before scoring on an error by relief arm Tim Naughton (L, 2-4), who airmailed a throw over the first baseman's head on a routine roller off the bat of Oswaldo Cabrera. Two pitches later, designated hitter Jason Lopez cranked a base hit to right to plate the Dogs' second baseman, expanding the lead to 4-2.
The rally made a winner out of Reiver Sanmartin (2-4), who threw six innings with a pair of runs allowed (one earned) in his sixth start with the Holy City. The Colombian southpaw scattered six hits while striking out four. The RiverDogs lost the lead in the sixth when a leadoff error allowed Mason McCoy to reach, eventually scoring Seamus Curran's RBI single. Charleston starters allowed just five runs (4 ER) in 24 2/3 innings in the four-game series.
In his first game back with the RiverDogs, catcher Eduardo Navas went 1-for-2 with a walk while driving in Charleston's first run with a sac fly to left in the second. Third baseman Welfrin Mateo went 2-for-5, his fifth multi-hit game in his last nine games, including doubling in his first two trips and scoring on Cabrera's RBI knock in the third to make it 2-0. Garcia also finished with a multi-hit effort.
The victory marked Charleston's 67th game this year decided by two or fewer runs, the most in the league.