SAVANNAH - Brady Lail earned his first win since May, and the Charleston RiverDogs led wire-to-wire in a 4-1 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats on Saturday night at Historic Grayson Stadium in South Atlantic League baseball.
Gosuke Katoh also doubled in the contest for a team-best and career-high 14-game hit streak for the RiverDogs (9-14 second half, 42-51 overall).
The RiverDogs scored two runs in the first inning against Savannah (16-7, 60-29). Tyler Wade reached on a one-out single and stole second base during a strikeout. Mike Ford's double to right field scored Wade and put Charleston on the scoreboard. Ford scored on a Miguel Andujar single that was coupled with an error.
Another run in the third inning stretched Charleston's lead to 3-0. Dustin Fowler led off with a double, moving to third base during a flyout from Mike Ford. With Savannah's infield in, Miguel Andujar grounded into an error that allowed Fowler to score.
Savannah cut the deficit to 3-1 in the bottom of the third on an RBI single from Champ Stuart.
In the top of the fourth, after Katoh doubled to lead off the frame, he moved to third on a groundout by John Murphy. After a walk to Michael O'Neill and a pitch that hit Wade, Ford drew a bases-loaded walk that brought in Katoh to put the RiverDogs up 4-1.
The Sand Gnats threatened in the sixth inning against Charleston reliever Chaz Hebert. Three walks loaded the bases with only one out, but Hebert got Colton Plaia to pop out to second and then struck out Yeixon Ruiz swinging to strand the bases loaded and keep the score 4-1.
Both bullpens dominated, and no one reached third base for either team after Savannah's threat in the bottom of the sixth. Charleston pieced together maybe the most promising inning in the top of the ninth when a two-out single by Ford and a walk for Andujar put two men aboard for the RiverDogs, but Sand Gnats reliever Hunter Carnevale fanned Mark Payton to send it to the bottom of the ninth.
Jacob Lindgren pitched the final inning for Charleston and struck out four batters to earn his first professional save. After a two-out strike three swinging wild pitch allowed Dominic Smith to reach and extend the game, Lindgren fanned Matt Oberste on four pitches to end the game for his first professional save.
Lail (8-4) went five innings for his first win since May 23 against the Hickory Crawdads. Savannah's Robert Gsellman (7-4) was charged with the loss.
The rubber game of this rain-shortened three-game series is set for 2:05 p.m. on Sunday. Charleston LHP Caleb Smith (4-7, 3.82 ERA) will face Savannah RHP John Gant (9-4, 2.64). The RiverDogs will be back at home on Tuesday to start a seven-game homestand, HOPE Week 2014 and the annual Youth Baseball Camp. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-3647 or online at www.riverdogs.com. Fans can listed to the game at www.riverdogs.com or on WTMA 1250-AM.
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