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RiverDogs let late lead slip, settle for Series Split with Shorebirds

Estevan Florial collected two hits in the loss. (Zach Bland)

The RiverDogs bullpen that had looked untouchable the first three weeks of the season let a late lead slip as the Delmarva Shorebirds rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to force a series split and comeback, 4-3, over Charleston on Sunday afternoon at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

The RiverDogs (13-12) were previously 8-0 in contests in which they held a lead entering the eighth, but Delmarva (12-13) rattled off six consecutive singles to turn a two-run deficit into a one run lead. After two scoreless frames, RiverDogs lefty Trevor Lane (4-1) yielded four hits to start the dooming frame for Charleston. Lane was pulled in a 3-2 game after Collin Woody's RBI knock brought the Shorebirds within a run. Christian Morris entered and his first pitch was promptly served into right field on a ground ball off the bat of left fielder Gerrion Grim that tied it. Daniel Fajardo lofted a blooper into center to give the Shorebirds a 4-3 advantage before Morris got Charleston out of the inning by retiring the next three.

Zach Bray pitched a perfect 1-2-3 ninth for Delmarva to pick up his third save.

The RiverDogs spoiled a fantastic outing from their starter Adonis Rosa who fanned a career-high nine across five innings, allowing one run on four hits with one walk issued.

The Dominican righty yielded a leadoff double to center fielder Ryan McKenna to lead off the bottom of the first before settling in. McKenna scored on an RBI knock by shortstop Chris Clare that gave the Shorebirds a 1-0 advantage early.

Charleston tied the game in the fifth. Second baseman Diego Castillo and designated hitter Isiah Gilliam each drew walks before shortstop Oswaldo Cabrera drove in the tying run with a bloop single that landed fair down the right field line.

The RiverDogs took a more comfortable 3-1 lead in the seventh, taking advantage of early wildness when the Shorebirds turned to the bullpen. Right-hander Jhon Peluffo (3-0) walked two batters on eight pitches to begin his outing before Leonardo Molina beat out a double play ball to put runners at the corners with one out. Center fielder Estevan Florial brought home the go-ahead run with a single to center and a pair of wild pitches made it 3-1 RiverDogs.

Charleston's bullpen had allowed just 23 runs in their previous 101 2/3 innings before Sunday afternoon. The Shorebird's four runs in the Sunday finale matched their total scored over the first three games of the pitcher-centric series in Maryland.

Lane's three earned runs allowed in the eighth ended his 15.1 consecutive scoreless streak to begin the season out of the bullpen.

Upcoming

The RiverDogs will enjoy a well-deserved off day before they begin a seven-game homestand on Tuesday night at 7:05pm at The Joe, starting with a three-game tilt against the Lakewood BlueClaws, the Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. In game one, RiverDogs righty Freicer Perez (0-1, 5.79) will step on the bump as the BlueClaws counter with southpaw Bailey Falter (0-1, 4.85). The game will be broadcast on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area and online streaming at riverdogs.com and the TuneIn Radio app under the "Charleston RiverDogs" station. It's a "Trendy Tuesday" at the ballpark to begin the homestand as the RiverDogs celebrate the best "As Seen on TV" products past and present on a night featuring Harris Teeter two-for-$20 ticket and meal specials at the gate.

RiverDogs tickets, including options for the all-new Riley Park Club, are now available and can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com. Those that can't make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area or by streaming online at riverdogs.com and the TuneIn Radio App by searching "RiverDogs."

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