LEXINGTON, KY. - Miguel Andujar smashed a home run while driving in the first three runs for the Charleston RiverDogs in a 6-1 victory over the Lexington Legends on Friday night in South Atlantic League action.
Charleston improved to 18-16 in the second half and 51-53 overall while taking a three-game sweep. Lexington slipped to 11-23 and 40-64. The RiverDogs have won 15 of their last 18 games, while the Legends are stuck in an eight-game losing streak.
For the third straight game, Charleston scored a run in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. Mark Payton opened the contest with a single and moved to second base on an Abiatal Avelino walk. Following a force out that sent Payton to third, Andujar singled to score Payton.
Andujar brought the lead to 3-0 with a third-inning home run. Tyler Wade's two-out single kept the inning alive for Andujar, who drilled a full count pitch into the left-field foul pole for his eighth home run of the season. The two-run blast gave the RiverDogs a three-run advantage.
In the fourth, Charleston's lead grew to 4-0 with more two-out production. Brandon Thomas extended the frame with a two-out single and scored from first base on a double by Payton.
The RiverDogs added another pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Wade led off with a double and reached third base during an Andujar groundout. Wade scored when Michael O'Neill reached on a fielding error. O'Neill stole second base and went to third on an error before he scored due to a sacrifice fly from Eduardo de Oleo.
Charleston starting pitcher Chaz Hebert tossed 5.2 shutout innings. He left five Legends on base - all in scoring position - in his scoreless start. Hebert allowed three hits and two walks while striking out six. Reliever Evan Rutckyj inherited a runner at second base from Hebert in the sixth inning, but he closed the frame with a strikeout and finished 11/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Lexington snapped Charleston's bid for a shutout in the eighth inning on a one-out RBI single by Mauricio Ramos.
The road trip continues Saturday at 6:05 p.m. with the opener of a four-game series at the Asheville Tourists. RiverDogs RHP Gabe Encinas (0-1, 10.29 ERA) will pitch against Tourists RHP Zach Jemiola (8-8, 4.78 ERA).
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