The Charleston RiverDogs are comfortably ahead in the second half race for the Southern Division championship of the South Atlantic League. The RiverDogs are up by six games over the Rome Braves with 13 games to go. Their magic number is down to 10. If they can win the division, they will be in the playoffs for the second straight year.
Here are some news and notes heading toward the final stretch:
The injury bug has hit the RiverDogs as Mandy Alvarez, Ben Ruta and Carlos Vidal are all likely out for the season. Ruta broke his hamate bone in his right wrist. Alvarez has a stress fracture in his left foot. Vidal is out with a foot injury. “I really don’t know. (Vidal’s) in a progression, a running progression, swinging, all of that stuff, baseball activities basically. I’m know sure when or if we’ll have him back,” RiverDogs manager Patrick Osborn said when asked if he expected Vidal back.
Diego Castillo has been on fire in August. He’s batting .358 and has a .421 on base percentage heading into Sunday’s game. He has inherited the lead off spot in the lineup after Hoy Park was promoted to Tampa.
The offense has picked up in the second half of the season averaging five runs per game. They’ve scored 271 runs, which is only second to Asheville in the SAL.
Freicer Perez has been the best starter for the RiverDogs. In his last 10 starts, he’s lowered his ERA from 3.22 to 2.88 and has not given up more than three earned runs during that stretch. He’s gone 8-0 with a 2.48 ERA and has struck out 58 in 54 and one third innings.
The RiverDogs are trying to reach 300,000 in attendance for the first time this year with four home games left. The game on August 21 is a virtual sellout as the solar eclipse is slated to happen before the game. The RiverDogs have set the team record in attendance in each of the past two seasons. Last year’s number ended up at 293,161. After Sunday’s game, the RiverDogs attendance stands at 286,638 with four games to go. The RiverDogs would have to average just 3340 in those four games to reach their goal.