AUGUSTA - Despite going hitless with runners in scoring position on Saturday night, the Charleston RiverDogs produced enough offense to claim a 4-2 triumph over the Augusta GreenJackets at Lake Olmstead Stadium in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs went 0-for-12 in team RISP but still notched their fourth victory in a row.
The RiverDogs rose to 37-31 in the second half and 70-68 overall. Charleston is guaranteed a non-losing season and needs one more win to claim a winning season along with a winning series at Augusta. The GreenJackets dropped to 27-41 in this half and 61-75 for the year.
Charleston grabbed a 3-0 lead in the second inning due to the generosity of Augusta's pitching and defense. Jackson Valera, Yeicok Calderon and Brandon Thomas all received walks from Steven Messner. Valera scored on a one-out wild pitch that also left Calderon and Thomas in scoring position. Both runners scored when Claudio Custodio reached on a two-out error.
Giovanny Gallegos protected Charleston's lead and finished with four shutout innings. Gallegos was primarily a reliever over the past four months until he was pressed into this late-season start.
Augusta finally countered in the fifth, cutting its deficit to 3-2. Randy Ortiz and Chris Lofton opened the frame with singles against Jonathan Padilla, who was making his RiverDogs debut. Will Callaway doubled to bring in Ortiz and Lofton. A groundout sent Callaway to third base, but he was later put out in a rundown while trying to score on a potential wild pitch.
In the top of the sixth, the RiverDogs cushioned their lead. Thomas led off with a walk and moved to second base during a one-out single by Daniel Lopez. A wild pitch and a two-out walk to Tyler Wade loaded the bases. Reliever Nick Jones replaced Messner and walked Michael O'Neill, forcing in Thomas to give Charleston a 4-2 advantage.
Both bullpens ended the contest with scoreless pitching. Padilla held Augusta scoreless in his final innings, posting four total innings in his debut. Eric Ruth relieved Padilla and stranded one baserunner in the ninth inning to close Charleston's victory. The GreenJackets had shutout pitching from Jones and Luis Castillo over the last three innings of play.
Padilla was credited with the victory, improving to 1-0 as the newest member of the RiverDogs. Messner suffered the loss and fell to 7-5. Ruth remained perfect in save opportunities by recording his seventh save of the season.
Game three of the four-game series is on tap for Sunday at 2 p.m. Charleston LHP Justin Kamplain (0-0, 3.38 ERA) will square off against Augusta RHP Joan Gregorio (2-6, 3.92 ERA).
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