Augusta GreenJackets right-hander Chris Stratton has produced better numbers against left-handed batters this season, but he was equally effective Friday night.
Stratton threw eight scoreless innings as the GreenJackets beat the Charleston RiverDogs 6-0 at Lake Olmstead Stadium, Augusta’s fifth in a row and its longest streak this season.
Stratton got 11 swinging strikes, many on a quality slider that had tight spin and broke late out of the zone to right-handed batters. He later mixed in an effective curveball and changeup.
“Slider was the difference maker tonight,” he said. “I could get ahead and put them away with that. Even if the fastball was up at times, I still could get a ground ball, so it’s one of those nights where everything went how it’s supposed to.”
Stratton entered having allowed fewer line drives and more ground balls along with more strikeouts against left-handed batters this season (25 percent to lefties vs. 24 percent to right-handers).
Stratton offered his changeup as a possible reason for the split.
“I guess it’s the fact that I can use the changeup a little more effectively, but it’s not a mindset or anything,” he said.
Augusta (21-18) scored one in the fourth on an RBI single by Joey Rapp. The GreenJackets tacked on five in the sixth on RBI singles by Shawn Payne, Chuckie Jones and Ben Turner. Third baseman Shayne Houck capped the inning with his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot.
Payne went 2 for 4 with a double and RBI,
and Jones added two hits and one RBI.
Charleston’s (22-18) Dan Camarena allowed one run on three hits in five innings, striking out six.