Augusta GreenJackets starter Kendry Flores had been on a tear since experiencing the worst start of his season at the end of June. An unfamiliar opponent helped to cool off the right-hander Wednesday night.
Flores allowed four runs over six innings as the Lakewood BlueClaws beat the GreenJackets 5-4 in 10 innings.
The BlueClaws scored the go-ahead run in the 10th on a wild pitch by GreenJackets reliever Ian Gardeck.
The GreenJackets tied the game at 4 in the eighth when Andrew Cain tripled and scored on a balk by BlueClaws reliever Ramon Oviedo.
Flores struck out 10 and walked none, giving him double-digit strikeouts in three of his past five outings after none in his previous 11 starts.
“He didn’t have his best stuff tonight,” GreenJackets manager Mike Goff said. “He was nibbling and wasn’t as aggressive. But he made two bad pitches that led to four runs. He has pitched great for us all year.”
Prior to the start, Flores had allowed one unearned run with one walk and 17 strikeouts in his past 14 innings. This was after Flores’ worst start of the season June 27 when he allowed eight runs at Asheville.
He entered with the third-lowest walk percentage in the South Atlantic League among qualified starters at 3.8 percent, providing the consistency he needs to get through starts where he might not have his best command.
Lakewood (12-14) scored two runs in the second on a double by Angelo Mora. The GreenJackets answered with a run in the home half. Augusta (11-12) took the lead in the fifth on RBI doubles by Mitch Delfino and Ben Turner.
But the BlueClaws responded with a two-run homer by Art Charles in the sixth, giving Lakewood a 4-3 lead.