SALISBURY, MD. - A career-high 13 strikeouts from Caleb Smith in six shutout innings highlighted a 6-0 Charleston RiverDogs win over the Delmarva Shorebirds on Thursday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in South Atlantic League action.
Smith's 13 strikeouts is the highest total by any RiverDogs pitcher since Charleston became a New York Yankees affiliate in 2005.
After its first shutout of the season, Charleston is now 11-9 overall and 3-1 during this seven-game road trip. Delmarva's record dropped to 9-11 following its fourth loss in its last five games.
Charleston scored early and often against Delmarva, but Smith was even more efficient. The southpaw struck out at least two Shorebirds in each frame, including three strikeouts in the fifth inning. Smith allowed just three hits and also retired eight straight batters in a stretch from the end of the first inning into the fourth. Smith also has 11.1 consecutive scoreless innings pitched, the best RiverDogs streak at any point this year.
The RiverDogs started their offense with back-to-back hits against Delmarva's Mitch Horacek before putting across the game's first run. Abiatal Avelino doubled and reached third base on a Jose Rosario single. Avelino scored on a double play off the bat of Aaron Judge, giving Charleston a 1-0 advantage in the first inning.
An early RiverDogs lead grew to 4-0 during the second inning. Gosuke Katoh's bases-loaded double scored Michael O'Neill and Miguel Andujar for a three-run lead. On the next pitch, Kale Sumner came in after a passed ball.
Charleston added runs in the third and fourth for a 6-0 advantage. With the bases loaded, Sumner's sacrifice fly brought in Judge during the third. In the fourth, Mikeson Oliberto collected a leadoff triple and was driven in by a single from Rosario.
Smith moved to 2-1 after earning the victory in the record-setting appearance. Horacek was the losing pitcher for Delmarva, falling to 0-2. Jordan Cote followed Smith with three shutout innings to finish the game and claimed the first save of his professional career.
Game two of this four-game series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Friday. Charleston RHP Rookie Davis (2-0, 2.75 ERA) will pitch against Delmarva RHP Sebastian Vader (1-1, 2.84 ERA).