A new opponent brought the same old problems to Lake Olmstead Stadium as the Augusta GreenJackets dropped their fourth consecutive game in a 5-1 loss to the Charleston RiverDogs.
The GreenJackets matched a season high with 13 strikeouts, including three each from Chuckie Jones, Kelby Tomlinson and Eric Sim.
Charleston’s hitters did their job early and rattled Augusta starter Edwin Escobar. Gary Sanchez worked the count full and fouled off the next five pitches in his first at-bat before smacking the 11th pitch for an RBI single to give Charleston the lead.
Facing Escobar (1-1) for the second time this season, the RiverDogs fouled off enough pitches to run the count full 12 times.
“Escobar threw very good against us at home. He’s got a good fastball and he likes to attack hitters,” Charleston manager Carlos Mendoza said. “The guys made very good adjustments with two strikes, fouled off some pitches and as a team we put together a lot of quality at-bats.”
The GreenJackets showed signs of life offensively, getting a hit in four of the first five innings, including a solo home run by Jose Cuevas to lead off the fourth. But the bats fell silent as Charleston relievers Zachary Varce and Robert Paulus threw a no-hitter over the final four innings.
“We hit some balls hard, but right at people,” GreenJackets manager Lipso Nava said. “We’re not getting any breaks right now, whether it’s one thing or another.”
RiverDogs starter Jose Campos (3-0) gave up the homer to Cuevas but was otherwise strong, scattering four hits and striking out seven over five innings.
Escobar, Campos’ cousin, needed 51 pitches just to get out of the first two innings and was pulled with one out in the third. He gave up four runs, two earned, on three hits and a walk and became the fourth consecutive Augusta
starter to fail to reach the fifth inning.
“Once again the starters can’t give us five or six innings, which is what we’re looking for,” Nava said. “So we’re using our relievers, and we’re kind of short right now.”