Walks make night easier for Augusta

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Rome's wild pitches gave away Monday night's game.

Free passes did the trick Tuesday. Braves pitchers walked six batters in the first two innings of a 5-4 Augusta GreenJackets win.

Rome starter David Filak walked the first three batters he faced and failed to make it out of the second inning.

Augusta (12-20) led 5-0 after two innings, despite striking out swinging five times on pitches out of the zone.

GreenJackets manager Lipso Nava said his team could have built a larger lead.

"We let them off the hook a couple of times," he said. "We need to learn to make adjustments at the plate and take what they give you."

Adam Duvall was the only GreenJacket to take advantage of the free baserunners in the first with a two-RBI single. Chris Lofton and Bobby Haney singled in runs in the second, and Josh Mazzola drew a bases-loaded walk.

Rome's attempt at a comeback included runs in the fourth and sixth and back-to-back doubles from Evan Gattis and Elmer Reyes in the eighth.

But Augusta reliever Drew Bowlin closed the door in the ninth for his second save.

"We got off to the early lead, and the relievers did a good job when they came in," pitching coach Steve Kline said. "They're going to give up runs, but they did a good job and didn't give up the winning run. That's what we want."

The game took a wild turn in the top of the fifth when Kline was ejected by home plate umpire Carlos Torres for arguing balls and strikes.

Kline was walking off the field after a visit to the mound when a verbal exchange with Torres resulted in the ejection. The third-year pitching coach quickly approached Torres with a raised finger, bumped into him and head-butted him with his cap.

Torres raised his arms to protect his face while Kline continued to argue. The game was briefly delayed while a trainer bandaged a cut below Torres' left eye.

"I don't think I made contact," Kline said. "I should put a bandage on my foot that he stepped on."

Torres declined to comment after the game.

All ejections are reviewed by the South Atlantic League, and Kline could face a fine and suspension for the incident.

GreenJackets starter Austin Fleet (4-2) picked up the win, while Filak (1-2) took the loss.

The win was Augusta's second in a row and fourth in six games.


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