Augusta GreenJackets (Giants) vs. Savannah Sand Gnats (Mets)
WHEN: today, 7:05 p.m.
WHERE: Lake Olmstead Stadium: directions
WEATHER: Partly cloudy and 84 degrees at game time with no chance of rain: forecast
PROMOTION: Thirsty Thursdays. Small drinks are $1 each.
TICKETS: Start at $7. Call the box office at (706) 922-WINS or visit GreenJacketsBaseball.com.
RADIO: ESPN Radio 1340 AM WYNF
IN-GAME UPDATES: On Twitter (@BillyByler) or receive text alerts on your phone.
STANDINGS: Augusta 19-25, 6th SAL Southern; Savannah 28-17, 3rd SAL Southern
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Savannah leads season series 7-5.
PROBABLE STARTERS: GreenJackets RHP Chris Marlowe (1-1, 2.30) vs. Rome RHP Tyler Pill (3-3, 2.29).
It's been a rough week for the GreenJackets, who return to Lake Olmstead Stadium tonight needing a win to avoid a season-worst six-game losing streak. The road trip started off so promising with a pair of one-run wins in Savannah, but Augusta hasn't won since. The team dropped the last two to the Sand Gnats then, worst yet, suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the lowly Romes Braves.
To sum things up, the GreenJackets are on a five-game losing streak and their 19-25 record puts them a season-worst 10.5 games out of first. With only three weeks left in the first half of the season, the team has pretty much no chance of catching the division leaders for a first-half title, meaning they'll spend this time playing the spoiler role.
Savannah, on the other hand, has put itself in prime position for a first-half title run. The Sand Gnats, who are trying to repeat as first-half champions, sit two games behind division leaders Asheville and Charleston.
Augusta will send right-hander Chris Marlowe to the mound tonight. Considering the team's poor job of putting runs on the board (four total runs over the last three games), Marlowe is the ideal starter to begin the series. The 22-year-old Texan has allowed just one earned run over his last three starts.
Savannah will counter with team ERA and strikeout leader Tyler Pill, who threw six scoreless innings for a win in Augusta during the GreenJackets' first homestand of the season. More recently Pill gave up three runs in six innings in a loss at home against the GreenJackets six days ago.
Though the team may not be playing well lately, there is a reason to get out to the ballpark as soon as possible. The GreenJackets added infielder Mark Minicozzi to the roster last week, and he'll make his Lake Olmstread Stadium debut this series. Minicozzi's story, featured in today's print edition of The Augusta Chronicle, is an unlikely comeback story. I'm told he won't be held at the Single-A level for much longer. This 29-year-old slugger will soon move up within the Giants system.