CHARLESTON, SC - The Delmarva Shorebirds continued their home run surge into the series finale in Charleston, blasting two round-trippers on the way to a 6-4 win over the RiverDogs to clinch a split on Monday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
Ryan McKenna drew a walk to lead off the ballgame and promptly stole second. After a flyout, Chris Clare blasted a fly ball to left field for his first home run of the season, giving the Shorebirds (15-16) a 2-0 lead in the first for the second straight night.
The RiverDogs (15-17) had an answer in the bottom of the second. Angel Aguilar reached on a two-base error at third. Donny Sands grounded out to the pitcher, but Isiah Gilliam crushed a no-douber over the wall in left. His seocnd homer of the season tied the game at 2-2.
Delmarva wouldn't have to wait long for its answer. Chris Shaw drew a one out walk, bringing up Gerrion Grim. Grim cranked a pitch to deep left center that just cleared the auxiliary scoreboard for a two-run shot. It was Grim's fourth home run of the season and his first in a night game, giving the Shorebirds a 4-2 lead.
It would stay 4-2 until the top of the ninth when Delmarva took out an insurance policy. Preston Palmeiro drew a leadoff walk and moved up to second on a pickoff error by the catcher Sands. Alejandro Juvier then laced a double down the left field line to bring Palmeiro home. A wild pitch moved Juvier up to third, and McKenna singled to center to plate Juvier and make it 6-2.
Jake Bray came on for a non-save situation in the bottom of the ninth, and the RiverDogs made their move. Aguilar doubled off the wall in left to lead off. After a flyout and a strikeout, Oswaldo Cabrera notched his own double on a line drive to right. Brandon Wagner singled up the middle to score Cabrera and make it 6-4. Ben Ruta then singled through the hole on the right side, moving Wagner up to third and putting the tying runs on base for Estevan Florial, who had already homered in the series.
Bray would buckle down, though, and force Florial to break his bat and pop up weakly to Irving Ortega at short to end the game.
Alex Wells (3-1) earned the win for the Shorebirds in his third straight quality start (fourth overall). Wells allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits in six innings, walking none and striking out two on 84 pitches. Freicer Perez (0-2) took the loss for Charleston after giving up four runs on five hits in three innings.
McKenna and Juvier each had two hits and a run for Delmarva as seven of the starting nine reached base in the game.
Aguilar led the way at the plate for the RiverDogs, going 2-for-4 with a double and two runs. Wagner and Ruta had two-hit games from the eight- and nine-holes.
The Clare, Gilliam, and Grim home runs made it seven big flies between the two teams in the last two games in the usually home run-unfriendly Joe Riley Park.
Steven Klimek pitched two perfect innings in relief for the hold. The Shorebirds didn't walk a single batter in the game.
The Shorebirds now return home for an eight-game, seven-day homestand, starting on Wednesday against Tim Tebow and the Columbia Fireflies. Lucas Humpal (1-2, 3.78) gets the ball for Delmarva against the Fireflies' Gabriel Llanes (0-2, 3.03). First pitch is 7:05 p.m., with gates opening one hour prior. Wednesday is a Silver Sluggers Day at Perdue Stadium, presented by Coastal Home Care. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports AM 960 and the MiLB First Pitch app begins at 6:50 p.m. with Will DeBoer on the call.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.