Wednesday, July 17 - Lakewood 5, Augusta 4
The bright spot for the GreenJackets continued to be Kendry Flores, who struck out 10 and walked zero in six innings. The right-hander has double-digit strikeouts in three of his past five starts after none in his previous 11 outings. This stretch began immediately after allowing a season-worst eight runs at Asheville at the end of June.
Flores nibbled and wasn't as aggressive against a Lakewood lineup full of left-handed batters, but he maintained his control and didn't let a lack of command bite him too hard. Two mistake pitches resulted in four runs allowed, and otherwise he was solid. He also used strikeouts well, particularly an effective curveball, to get out of jams, stranding three batters in the first three innings.
Lakewood third baseman Mitch Walding showed a good hit tool by making hard contact in his at-bats. He struggles picking up spin or off-speed away and has some miss in his swing, but he flashes above-average power to go with the hit tool. The same can be said for Larry Greene. These two are on a similar path, it seems.
Carlos Tocci received the night off, but he came in as a defensive replacement in center field in the 10th inning. With one out, a line drive was hit into the right-center gap, and Tocci made a tremendous first step and glided to the ball with ease for the catch. I saw Tocci on the field for maybe five minutes and immediately came away impressed.
Manager Mike Goff said GreenJackets starter Martin Agosta was placed back on the disabled list because of a blister. The right-hander returned from a DL stint to start July 5, but he lasted just 4.2 innings before leaving with a blister on his right hand. It became enough of a problem to put him back on the DL.