Monday July 20, 2009
Augusta, GA – With a beleaguered bullpen in need of rest, Kyle Nicholson took the ball and turned in what was arguably his finest performance of the season, firing a 5-1 complete game gem for his Augusta GreenJackets to give the Jackets a four-game sweep of the Greensboro Grasshoppers and a sweep of their only eight-game homestand against Northern Division opponents.
Nicholson (6-8) allowed just one unearned run while going the distance, scattering six hits with a walk and four strikeouts. He mixed in groundball outs early, picked up his strikeouts in the late innings and got Greensboro hitters to bounce into inning-ending double plays in the seventh and eighth.
Augusta took control early with four runs in the second inning. With one out and the bases loaded, Wendell Fairley doubled two runs home to give the Jackets an early advantage. Francisco Peguero bounced a single over third base to score two more. Augusta added a fifth run in the fourth when Charlie Culberson scored on a wild pitch.
Greensboro tallied an unearned run in the third inning on an RBI single by Isaac Galloway to score Kevin Mattison from third, who made it there thanks to a passed ball and wild pitch.
Tom Koehler (4-4) threw six solid innings in the loss but was felled in the end by the four-run second inning. He allowed five runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
The eight-game winning streak extends the longest such Augusta streak of the season and it gives the GreenJackets their longest winning streak since they won nine in a row early in 2008. The Jackets also picked up their first eight-game homestand sweep since the first homestand of the 2007 season, when the GreenJackets opened the campaign with a 12-0 mark.