The Hickory Crawdads entered the series with the Augusta GreenJackets on pace to set the South Atlantic League record for home runs in a season.
GreenJackets starter Chris Stratton quieted the big bats for at least one night.
Stratton pitched seven scoreless innings and gave up just one hit to lead the GreenJackets to a 4-0 win Monday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
The right-hander walked three and struck out eight, shutting down the Crawdads with nine swinging strikes and nine ground balls.
GreenJackets manager Mike Goff said Stratton established his fastball the first time through the lineup, went to the breaking ball the second time through, and finished with the changeup.
“That’s the best I’ve seen him use his fastball,” Goff said. “If he works off it, that’s his pitch. If he establishes his fastball, uses
his other pitches, he’ll win a lot of ballgames.”
Stratton struck out Hickory first-rounder Joey Gallo twice and held fellow first-rounder Lewis Brinson hitless with a strikeout. He also struck out the side in the fourth.
Hickory’s (28-21) only hit off Stratton came on a Nomar Mazara double in the fifth.
Left-handed reliever Steven Okert came in for the final two innings, allowing one hit while striking out five.
Outfielder Rafael Rodriguez accounted for two of Augusta’s (28-22) three runs, one coming on a solo home run to left field in the fourth. His other RBI came in the second on an opposite-field single, taking a fastball on the outside corner over the first baseman’s head.
Rodriguez went 3 for 4 with two RBI. The home run was his third of the season and second in the past three games.
“He’s starting to pick it up a little bit,” Goff said. “He’s made a couple adjustments in his swing. He had a big night for
Designated hitter Shayne Houck picked up the third run for the GreenJackets on a sacrifice fly that scored Andrew Cain in the fourth. The fourth run came in the seventh on an single by Trevor Brown.