A night after needing three-runs in the sixth to earn the come-from-behind victory over the Charleston RiverDogs, the Lakewood BlueClaws used a six-run first inning to jump out in front on their way to a 10-6 victory. JoJo Romero earned his first win of the season, and Cord Sandberg drove in three early runs, including blasting his second homer of the year to give Lakewood their fourth straight victory.
Jio Orozco started for Charleston and found himself in trouble from the very first pitch. Daniel Brito singled to start the game and moved to third when the ball was misplayed by the right fielder. Henri Lartigue followed with a ground ball to second that he beat out for a single with Brito scoring on the play to make it 1-0. Mickey Moniak doubled and Darick Hall walked to load the bases and there was still no one out. Following a shallow fly ball by Luke Williams for an out, Sandberg walked to move everyone up 90-feet and make it 2-0. Edgar Cabral then singled sharply to left to score Moniak, and two batters later Jose Antequera cleared the bases with a double to left field to make it 6-0.
In the third, Hall would start the inning with a single. Two batters later Sandberg returned to the plate and promptly drilled a homerun over the right field wall for his second round-tripper of the season to extend the lead to eight.
The RiverDogs had minimal success against Romero through the first three innings, but they would finally get on the board in the fourth. Estevan Florial lined a single to center and Isiah Gilliam followed with a base hit to left to put two on with one out. Oswaldo Cabrera then lined a double to center that scored Florial and Leonardo Molina grounded out to score Gilliam to make it 8-2.
In the sixth, Charleston would dig into that lead a little deeper. Mauricio Llovera relieved Romero and was greeted by a single by Florial before Gilliam walked. Cabrera then lined into a double-play that erased Gilliam, but Molina doubled to right to score Florial to make it 8-3.
The BlueClaws responded in the top half of the seventh to extend their lead back to seven. Moniak started the inning with a double and Hall followed with his first homer of the year, a shot over the right field wall that made the score 10-3.
The RiverDogs were not going down without a fight, however. In the eighth they would plate three more runs. With Felix Paulino on the hill, Angel Aguilar started the inning with a single, but was forced at second on a ground out by Florial. Gilliam followed with a base hit before Cabrera singled to score Florial to make it 10-4. A base hit by Molina brought home Gilliam and Cabrera scored on a single by Carlos Vidal. That made it a four-run game, but that is as close as Charleston would get.
JoJo Romero (1-1) had a solid performance for Lakewood, allowing 2-runs in 5-innings of work while striking out 5. Cord Sandberg led the BlueClaws 11-hit attack by going 1-3 with 2-runs and 3-RBI, including his second homerun of the season. Darick Hall was 2-4 with 3-runs and 2-RBI, including his first homer of the year. Mickey Moniak was 2-5 with 2-runs and 2-doubles. The RiverDogs had seven players who recorded two-hits in the game. Estevan Florial led the offense with a 2-5 performance and 3-runs scored. Leonardo Molina was 2-4 with 3-RBI, and Isiah Gilliam was 2-3 with 2-runs. Oswaldo Cabrera was 2-3 with a run and 2-RBI.
Game 3 of this series is tomorrow evening in Charleston. The RiverDogs will send Brian Keller (2-1, 3.18) against Ranger Suarez (1-0, 0.81). First pitch is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier