Ryan Cavan drove in two runs on two doubles and later scored on the first of three Rome errors as the Augusta GreenJackets knocked off the Rome Braves 3-2 on Wednesday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
GreenJackets starter Jorge Bucardo (3-2) struck out eight and allowed no earned runs in seven innings to pick up his third win in his past five starts. The right-handed Nicaraguan struck out the first four batters he faced and combined with relievers Ryan Verdugo and Devan Kline to put away the visiting Braves in exactly two hours, the quickest nine-inning game at Lake Olmstead Stadium this season.
"He works quick. That's just him," GreenJackets manager Dave Machemer said of Bucardo. "And for the most part he was throwing strikes tonight."
Rome (19-27) scored two unearned runs in the top of the seventh inning and put the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base in the top of the ninth. But Sharlon Schoop ranged well to his right on a grounder deep in the hole at short to start a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
"They pulled the play of the game to end the game," Machemer said. "They turned that double play about as well as it could have been turned. That was no easy play."
The GreenJackets (29-18) needed just four hits to get the win and snap their two-game skid. Cavan hit his team-leading 14th and 15th doubles of the season in the second and fourth innings to supply most of the offensive damage. The GreenJackets' right fielder came a few inches away from a third double in the sixth, but Rome's Matt Weaver made a diving stop down the foul line.
Rome starter Chris Masters, who entered the game with the third-best ERA in the South Atlantic League, gave up two earned runs in five innings to fall to 1-3 on the season.
Kline got his second save of the season by forcing the double-play ground ball in the ninth.
GreenJackets starting catcher Tommy Joseph took a foul ball to the head in the first inning and was pulled after three innings when he complained of a headache.
"My head started hurting," Joseph said. "And my ears were ringing for three innings."