GREENVILLE — Jose Rosario hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth inning, the first of two homers on the night, and Dante Bichette Jr. added a two-run blast as the Charleston RiverDogs defeated the Greenville Drive, 9-6, in South Atlantic League baseball Monday.
With the game tied at 2 in the top of the fifth inning with two runners on and two outs, Drive starter Justin Haley (7-10) was one strike away from escaping trouble. He threw one pitch that just missed the outside corner, and the next strike he threw was promptly clobbered to left field by Rosario to give the RiverDogs (33-31 second half, 72-60 overall) a 5-2 advantage.
The Drive (26-35, 48-82) scored a pair of runs in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-4, but Charleston rudely greeted reliever Gerardo Olivares with three runs in the top of the sixth. After a leadoff single from Ericson Leonora, Bichette drove a two-run homer to right-center. Jackson Valera smacked a double to center, and two batters later, a bloop single to left by Daniel Aldrich scored another run and made the score 8-4.
Greenville scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning but could get no closer.
RiverDogs reliever Kelvin Castro (1-0) picked up the win with 21/3 innings, and John Brebbia fired two scoreless innings to record his first save of the year.
Rosario added an insurance run in the seventh with his second homer of the game, a solo shot against Olivares.
The RiverDogs scratched across a run in the first against Haley, as Jake Cave doubled to begin the game, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and came in on a passed ball. The Drive came back with a run in the bottom of the first, as they recorded three consecutive hits against starter Daniel Camarena.
The Drive took a 2-1 lead in the second before the RiverDogs tied it up at 2 in the fourth on a double-play groundout.
Rosario finished 3 for 4 with two homers and four RBIs. Aldrich, Fu-Lin Kuo and Leonora all added two hits, while Bichette drove in a pair with his homer.
The divisional rivals will meet again at Fluor Field at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday. Left-hander Eric Wooten (1-2, 1.74 ERA) will start for Charleston against fellow lefty Francisco Taveras (2-4, 6.61).
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