Early offense fuels 4-1 GreenJackets win

NORTH AUGUSTA, SOUTH CAROLINA: After the Augusta GreenJackets (42-36, 6-4) were shutout on Friday night, they came back on Saturday and scored two runs in each of the first two-innings and they cruised to a 4-1 win over the Lexington Legends (40-39, 3-7). The Jackets will look for the series victory tomorrow at SRP Park against Lexington.
With the win, the GreenJackets improve to 5-1 on the homestand, and they are now 10-2 against Lexington in 2019.
After the GreenJackets offense struggled in Friday’s matchup with Lexington, they went right to work on Saturday. In the 1st inning, Shane Matheny doubled to bring home two runs, and then it was Diego Rincones with a groundout to score another run, and give the Jackets a 2-0 lead after the first frame.
The Augusta offense continued to score off Lexington starter Jon Heasley. In the 2nd inning, a Jose Layer single gave the GreenJackets a 3-0 lead. Later in the inning, with Layer on 2nd base, an error on Lexington’s 3rd baseman Nate Eaton gave the GreenJackets a 4-0 advantage.
Lexington scratched a run across in the 4th inning. For the 2nd consecutive night, the Legends brought a run home on a passed ball. It was the only run that Lexington could score off GreenJackets starting pitcher Adam Oller. Oller ends his night after six-innings and he earns the win. It’s the 2nd consecutive win for Oller, as he strikes-out a season high seven batters.
Ryan Walker did not allow a run in his two-innings of work out of the bullpen, before Jesus Tona collected his 13th save of the season by working a three-up, three-down 9th. Tona had two strikeouts, and he reaches 100 strikeouts for his career, as the Jackets earn the 4-1 victory.
Player of the Game: Adam Oller, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
After Oller opened the homestand with 5.2 innings, allowing only one-run on Monday, he dazzled on Saturday night. He goes six-innings, allowing just two-hits and he shutdown the Lexington lineup to pick-up the victory.
Tomorrow’s Game: 7:05 PM vs Lexington Legends (Kansas City Royals), SRP Park, North Augusta, South Carolina
Pitching Matchup: (LEX) LHP Evan Steele (2-2, 1.45 ERA) vs (AUG) RHP Gregory Santos (0-3, 2.29 ERA)

The potential of Gregory Santos has been on full display since he returned from his shoulder strain earlier this month. Santos will take the baseball in the series finale after he went four-innings in his last start without allowing a run. The right hander is ranked as the #7 prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization according to MLB.com. He was traded to the Giants, along with pitcher Shaun Anderson, from the Boston Red Sox in 2018 for infielder Eduardo Nunez. Santos is only 19-years old and is a native of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.

Evan Steele makes the start for the Lexington Legends on Sunday. Steele has done a great job of pounding the strike zone. He has walked only 7 hitters this year, while striking out 34. In Steele’s last outing, it was one of his best of the year. He went five frames, and did not allow a run, while striking-out a season high seven hitters. Steele was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2017 out of Chipola Junior College.