CHARLESTON, SC - Former third-round selection Nolan Martinez dealt six innings with two runs allowed in his Charleston RiverDogs debut, but the 20-year-old took the loss in a 2-1 defeat to the Lakewood BlueClaws in front of 2,972 Riley Park faithful on Tuesday night.
Martinez (0-1) faced the minimum through his first four innings before Lakewood (71-42, 30-14) scored a pair in the sixth on back-to-back, two-out extra-base hits from third baseman Jake Scheiner and catcher Rodolfo Duran. The right-hander collected four strikeouts, including punching out the side in the second.
The California native made eight appearances (five starts) with Short Season-A Staten Island before getting promoted to Charleston (52-60, 19-24), pitching to a 4-0 record and a 1.23 ERA in 36 2/3 innings. Martinez was named the New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Week for his five perfect innings with seven strikeouts in his final Staten Island appearance on August 2.
Infielder David Metzgar finished 3-for-4 in his first game with the RiverDogs since May 15. The non-drafted free agent signee collected hits in his first three plate appearances but never advanced to scoring position as Lakewood starter Spencer Howard (7-7) stymied Charleston's offense with six shutout frames.
The Dogs got their lone run in the bottom of the ninth when second baseman Welfrin Mateo ripped a double to the left center field gap off Zach Warren to plate left fielder Carlos Vidal. With the tying run in scoring position, Leonardo Molina grounded out to end the ballgame. The run helped Charleston avoid their ninth shutout defeat of the season and prevented the BlueClaws from collecting a league-leading 22nd shutout victory.
The one-run defeat marked the RiverDogs' 48th one run game, the most in the South Atlantic League and contests which they have gone 20-28 in. Lakewood improved to 24-15 (.615) in one-run differentials, giving them the league's best winning percentage in such games.
Tuesday was another "Live and Local Tuesday" down at The Joe. There was a farmer's market on the concourse, local music, a restaurant pop-up, and the voice of Charleston's first poet laureate, Marcus Amaker, was heard throughout the night as he took over PA announcing duties.