When Augusta GreenJackets center fielder Mike McBryde, one of the team's fastest players, entered the batter's box to lead off the sixth and eighth innings Monday night, he thought about bunting.
"I really just wanted to get something started," said McBryde, who led off each inning.
McBryde didn't bunt in those situations. Instead, he slammed a pair of solo home runs to left field that helped Augusta preserve an 8-5 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
McBryde, who'd been struggling, was 3-for-4 with four RBI, including a two-RBI single in Augusta's four-run second inning. It marked the first two-homer game of his career.
"It feels good to hit the ball hard. I've been in a funk the last few weeks," McBryde said. "The way some of our games have been going, it felt pretty good."
Augusta (78-43, 28-23 second half) and Delmarva (59-56, 25-25) meet for the third game of their four-game series tonight.
Augusta starter Ben Snyder allowed three runs - one earned - on just four hits in five innings. The pitcher with the second-best ERA in the South Atlantic League wasn't happy, though, despite getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth.
"I'm pitching up in the zone. I need to get the ball down," Snyder said. "The whole team knows we're capable of more. It seems like we were clicking on all cylinders in the first half, and now we're waiting for the hitting and pitching both to be there again."
Emmanuel Burris had two hits, and Marcus Sanders added three RBI for Augusta.
For Delmarva, which had a three-game win streak snapped, highly regarded pitching prospect Pedro Beato allowed seven runs for the loss.