Valera goes 5-for-5 in doubleheader sweep
CHARLESTON, S.C. (DOGS) - Featuring a strong offensive performance by Jackson Valera, the Charleston RiverDogs swept the Lexington Legends in a Thursday doubleheader with victories of 6-2 and 5-1 in front of 4,982 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action. Valera went 5-for-5 in the twin bill with a double, a sacrifice fly and five runs batted in. The RiverDogs climbed to 12-15 in the second half and 45-52 overall. The Legends slid to 11-17 and 40-58, respectively. Charleston won this three-game series by a 2-1 margin. In the opener, Lexington and Charleston each scored in the second inning. A two-out single by Alexis Rivera brought in Dex Kjerstad for a brief 1-0 lead for the Legends. During the bottom of the frame, Gosuke Katoh lifted a broken-bat triple to right field and scored on a Valera single. Charleston grabbed a 4-1 lead with a three-run rally in the bottom of the third. Dustin Fowler led off with a double and scored after a double from Miguel Andujar. Following a Michael O'Neill single, Eduardo de Oleo singled to drive in Andujar. Two batters later, another single by Valera allowed O'Neill to score. Lexington cut the difference to 4-2 in the fourth inning on a double from Rivera, but Charleston responded with a two-run spurt in the fifth. Back-to-back two-out singles for Valera and John Murphy scored O'Neill and Valera, respectively to give the RiverDogs a 6-2 advantage. The winning pitcher in the opener was Rookie Davis, who improved to 4-8 this season. Luke Farrell suffered his fifth straight losing decision and fell to 1-8. Evan Rutckyj earned the save. It was Rutckyj's first professional save, coming in his 81st professional appearance. In the nightcap, Andujar and Valera boosted the RiverDogs to a 3-0 lead in the third inning. O'Neill hit a one-out single before Tyler Wade was hit by a pitch. Miguel Andujar brought in both runs with a double. After a strikeout, Andujar scored during Valera's two-out double. During the fifth inning, both teams posted a run. Lexington's Fred Ford reached on a one-out single, moved to second base after a groundout, and scored on a Carlos Garcia double. Valera responded with a sacrifice fly in the home half of the inning, scoring Andujar for a 4-1 lead. Charleston stretched the lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth. Brandon Thomas' bunt single opened the inning. A stolen base and a wild pitch put Thomas at third base. Andujar lifted a sacrifice fly that scored Thomas for the run. Giovanny Gallegos earned the victory and improved to 2-4. Tripp Davis took the loss and his record was evened at 2-2. Ian Clarkin started for Charleston and retired all six batters that he faced over two perfect innings.