Paul Davis gave the GreenJackets seven quality innings and the GreenJackets offense walked their way to victory in a 4-3 win over the West Virginia Power this afternoon at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
West Virginia starter Ryan Hafner allowed just one hit but walked seven batters. Three came with the bases loaded and made the difference in the one-run game.
“We just took advantage of it,” GreenJackets manager Lipso Nava said. “Sometimes you just want to be patient.”
Davis (4-4) gave up two unearned runs on a Gregory Polanco double in the third, then took a line drive off his leg in the fourth inning. But the San Francisco Giants’ 17th-round pick remained in the game, keeping an already taxed bullpen off the mound for another four innings.
“That was huge. It gave us the flexibility to go to the right guys today,” Nava said.
Davis matched a season high with seven innings and allowed just one earned run to pick up his first win in a month.
“I feel like I can do that every single time I throw,” he said. “I’ve always been a starter. I feel really strong right now, and I feel like I’m in the best shape of my baseball-playing life.”
After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the third, the GreenJackets were handed two runs in the bottom of the inning. Hafner (0-7) loaded the bases on a walk, hit batsman and a Kelby Tomlinson single before walking Jesus Galindo and Shawn Payne to tie the game at two.
Hafner walked four consecutive batters in the bottom of the fifth to give Augusta a 4-3 lead.
GreenJackets reliever Kyle Vazquez struck out two batters in a perfect eighth, and closer Cody Hall reclaimed sole possession of first place in the South Atlantic League with his 17th save on three fly balls in the ninth.
Brett Krill extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a one-out single in the sixth.
Payne went 0 for 1 with three walks and a stolen base and saw his hitting streak end at 13 games.
The GreenJackets (13-10, 45-47) claimed their league-leading 23rd one-run win of the season and remained a half game out of first place in the league’s Southern Division standings.
West Virginia (13-11, 36-58) saw its four-game winning streak come to an end.