Come-from-behind win over Rome caps sweep by Augusta GreenJackets

Augusta moves to within 3.5 games of first

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A four-game Augusta GreenJackets sweep of the Rome Braves offered fans thrilling come-from-behind wins, gave players the chance to be the hero and nearly sent manager Lipso Nava to the doctor's office.

"It might be fun for them, but it's not fun for me," he said. "My blood pressure is spiking every game. I mean, we were getting no-hit in the fifth."

For the third night in a row, the first-year manager saw his team stagger at the start, then rally from an early deficit to claim victory in Monday's 7-3 win.

The perfect homestand brought Augusta (24-19, 55-58) back into playoff contention, climbing to within 31/2 games of first-place Savannah in the South Atlantic League's Southern Division.

"Every series from here on out is big for us," first baseman Ryan Scoma said. "Our sights are set on first place."

Scoma was a key part of the comeback Monday that gave Augusta its fourth consecutive win and 12th in 14 home games.

Rome starter Aaron Northcraft took a no-hitter into the fifth, retiring 12 of the first 13 batters he faced. Scoma broke up the no-hitter with an infield single to start the fifth and tied the game with a run-scoring double in a three-run sixth.

Josh Mazzola drove in two runs, including one on a bases-loaded walk in the seventh. The GreenJackets broke the game open with four runs in the inning with the help of two Rome errors and two walks.

Augusta sent eight men to the plate in each of the sixth and seventh innings, and the GreenJackets pitchers finished off the comeback by allowing just one run over the final six innings.

"The comebacks, hopefully it's a sign of character," Scoma said. "That's what you want to see down the stretch, and hopefully it shows we're coming together and can make a run here."

Northcraft (3-8) took the loss after giving up three earned runs. His four no-hit innings were wasted when he hit two batters and gave up three hits to the six batters he faced in the sixth.

Augusta starter Shawn Sanford (9-7) saw his league-leading ERA rise slightly to 2.40 but still picked up his sixth win. He gave up two earned runs on six hits in six innings, including a solo homer to Evan Gattis in the second.

Brett Bochy got his fourth save when he came in with one out in the eighth and retired five of seven batters.

Game report

PLAY OF THE GAME: GreenJackets right fielder Ryan Lollis once again made a diving catch in the outfield, this time in the rain for the second out in the ninth.

STAR OF THE GAME: Ryan Scoma went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI on a night when Augusta tallied seven runs on just five hits.

NEXT: Augusta at Lexington, Wednesday, 7:05 p.m.


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