A major surge from the Augusta GreenJackets has them within striking distance of a playoff berth as they complete the home portion of their regular season schedule this week.
The GreenJackets swept the Hickory Crawdads by a combined score of 22-13 over three games this past weekend, giving Augusta a 4 ½-game lead in the South Atlantic League’s Southern Division with seven games remaining.
The GreenJackets have held a division lead over the Lexington Legends, who are 11-13 in August after starting the second half 24-13 through July. Augusta has taken advantage, and has a chance to clinch the second-half division title by winning two of three over the Legends at Lake Olmstead Stadium starting today.
Winning one game in the three-game series against the Legends would mean the GreenJackets would have to clinch on the road at Asheville in the final regular season series this weekend. The Tourists are last in the Southern Division. The Legends finish with a series against the Northern Division’s first-place West Virginia Power.
The season series between Augusta and Lexington leans in the GreenJackets’ favor; with Augusta leading the series 12-4.
Although the two teams played 13 of those games in the first half, the GreenJackets picked up where they left off by winning another series against the Kansas City Royals affiliate last week.
After losing the first game of the series on Aug. 20 despite a strong effort by starter Martin Agosta, the GreenJackets responded with Kendry Flores’ best outing this season, striking out a career-high 15 over eight innings for a win.
Augusta’s Ben Turner and Andrew Cain homered in the rubber game on Aug. 22 for a series win.
PLAYOFF TICKETS: In anticipation of a playoff berth, three types of GreenJackets playoff ticket packages go on sale today. Single-game tickets go on sale Friday.
Packages include a ticket to all four possible playoff games. In the event that the GreenJackets don’t play all four games, the money spent on the package rolls into a season-ticket package for 2014.
CATCHER MOVES: The GreenJackets lost one of their catchers to reassignment on Friday, but a recent activation fills the positional hole.
Eliezer Zambrano was assigned to Double-A Richmond to give the Flying Squirrels depth behind the plate. Zambrano hit .230 with six RBI and six walks in 20 games for the GreenJackets.
He is following a similar path in 2011 when he played 18 games for Augusta and eight for Richmond. He played all of 2012 for the Flying Squirrels.
Brad Moss was recently activated from the disabled list and fills the spot of Zambrano as a backup catcher to Turner. Moss has started two games since returning, recording one hit and one walk.