GreenJackets bullpen holds on, Augusta beats Savannah

Augusta 2, Savannah 1

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Another night of poor hitting was once again saved by another strong effort out of the bullpen as the Augusta GreenJackets claimed a 2-1 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats on Friday.

DeMondre Arnold (4-0) faced one batter over the minimum in three shutout innings of relief, and Derek Law got his first save with scoreless eighth and ninth innings.

Combined with six scoreless innings of relief in the series opener, the GreenJackets bullpen has shutout the Sand Gnats (28-19) over 11 consecutive innings.

“It’s awesome. As a starter, we need that bad.” Kyle Crick said. “We’re asking them to do more than they expect, but they did it again.”

Arnold and Law helped Crick, who gave up one run on four singles in the fourth. The 49th overall pick in last year’s draft gave the GreenJackets (21-25) four innings, scattered eight hits, struck out eight and walked none as a starter for the first time in his career.

The stellar pitching was enough to overcome Augusta’s ongoing struggles at the plate. The team stranded four base runners through the first three innings and left them loaded in the fourth, though four singles, two of which never left the infield, did provide a run to tie the game at 1.

The GreenJackets’ best-hit ball of the night was also one of the most fruitless. Jose Cuevas led off the sixth with a drive over the head of center fielder Gilbert Gomez, but Cuevas was thrown out at third trying to stretch the double into a triple.

Jeff Arnold followed with a walk and Joe Staley singled to left fielder Greg Pron, who misplayed a short hop and allowed the runners to advance another base. Arnold scored on the next at bat when Elliott Blair’s high chopper on the infield forced third baseman Dustin Lawley to concede the run for the sure out at first.

After taking the lead, DeMondre Arnold threw a perfect seventh before giving way to Law, who got the save opportunity instead of closer Cody Hall.

Manager Lipso Nava said an oblique strain will shut Hall down for a week.

Savannah starter Michael Fulmer, a first-round draft pick by the New York Mets, got a no decision after allowing one run on five hits and three walks over four innings. Reliever Marco Camerena (2-1) pitched the other four innings and gave up the unearned run in the sixth for the loss.

AUGUSTA 2, SAVANNAH 1

PLAY OF THE GAME: Savannah put two runners on with no outs on a pair of groundball singles in the second, but Augusta starter Kyle Crick struck out two and forced a grounder to second, escaping the inning unharmed.

STAR OF THE GAME: Augusta relievers DeMondre Arnold and Derek Law threw five scoreless innings to keep the home team in the game long enough to squeeze out the deciding run in the sixth.

NEXT: Augusta vs. Savannah, today, 7:05 p.m.

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