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Charleston RiverDogs DH Isiah Gilliam during a game against the Lakewood BlueClaws at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in Charleston, SC on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Martin Griff)

Delmarva Defeats Charleston 6-4 To Earn Split

The Delmarva Shorebirds earned a split of the four-game series against the Charleston RiverDogs Monday night with a 6-4 victory at Joe Riley Park. The Shorebirds were powered by two two-run home runs in the first and the third innings.

Freicer Perez (L, 0-2, 6.14 ERA) started for the RiverDogs and struggled with his command for the three innings he pitched. After walking Ryan McKenna to lead off the game, Perez struck out Jake Ring. Chris Clare came up to bat and hit a long home run to deep left-center field to give the Shorebirds a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, the RiverDogs tied the game at two off starter Alex Wells (W, 3-1, 1.19 ERA). Angel Aguilar reached on an error by third baseman Chris Clare to lead off the inning. After Donny Sands had grounded out to the pitcher, Isiah Gilliam parked a home run over the scoreboard in left field to tie it up.

The stalemate wouldn’t last long as Perez would issue a one-out walk to Shaw, bringing up Gerrion Grim. Grim hit a two-run home run in nearly the same spot as Gilliam over the left field wall to give the Shorebirds a 4-2 lead.

“The two two-run homers, other than that, he pitched okay, just threw a ton of pitches in the first inning. Anytime that happens, the outing’s going to get cut short. That was the case tonight. If he gets those two pitches back, it’s a different story. Maybe he’s still in the game in the fourth through the fifth. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way tonight,” RiverDogs manager Pat Osborn said.

The two teams would trade zeroes on the scoreboard until the ninth inning. RiverDogs reliever David Sosebee would issue a leadoff walk to Preston Palmeiro. Sosebee would get Daniel Fajardo to strikeout. Catcher Donny Sands would allow the runner to get to second after firing the ball down the right field line in an attempt to pickoff Palmeiro. Alejandro Juvier would rip a double into left to score Palmeiro to make it a 5-2 Shorebirds lead. After Sosebee struck out Irving Ortega, Ryan McKenna bounced a single through the right side of the infield to plate Juvier and give the Birds a 6-2 lead.

The RiverDogs would not go quietly in the ninth. Jake Bray came into the game to close it out for the Shorebirds and surrendered a leadoff double to Angel Aguilar. Aguilar would advance to third on Sands fly out to center field. Gilliam followed with a strike out bringing Oswaldo Cabrera. Cabrera ripped a double into the right field corner scoring Aguilar to bring the Dogs to within 6-3. Ben Ruta, playing in his first game with the RiverDogs would drive Cabrera in with a single down the right field line to make it 6-4 Birds. Bray would extinguish the threat though, getting Estevan Florial to line out to the shortstop Ortega.

“It seems like if we were able to cut those two runs in the ninth, now we have a tie game. But good effort on our part to keep fighting and keep playing and put some good at-bats together there. That’s always encouraging,” Osborn said.

The RiverDogs drop to 15-17 on the season while the Shorebirds improve to 15-16. The Dogs hit the road after a day off Tuesday to face off against the Hickory Crawdads for three games and then their second trip to West Virgina to play the Power before heading home May 18 to face the Augusta Greenjackets.

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