GreenJackets' Agosta to start in All-Star Game

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After a roster shuffle because of injuries and starters unable to pitch, Augusta Green­Jackets right-hander Martin Agosta will be the first pitcher to take the mound for the Southern Division in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday.

The 54th annual All-Star Game starts at 7:05 p.m. at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J.

Agosta, a 2012 second-round pick, owns a 1.97 ERA in 12 starts totaling 68 2/3 innings, striking out 88 and walking 27. His 32.1 percent strikeout rate is third best in the league.

Agosta is riding a hot streak into the All-Star Game, allowing just two runs over his past 28 innings. He has 31 strikeouts to seven walks over that stretch.

Joining Agosta as a Green­Jackets starter in the game is center fielder Jesus Galindo, who is hitting .268 with a .350 on-base percentage. The speedy leadoff hitter is second in the league with 35 steals.

Chris Stratton, a 2012 first-round pick, is also on the Southern roster. The right-hander has a 3.56 ERA in 11 starts totaling 65 2/3 innings. He has 72 strikeouts to 23 walks and sports the fifth-highest strikeout percentage in the league at 26.6 percent.

GreenJackets closer Tyler Mizenko is also on the roster. He ended the first half with just two runs allowed in 29 2/3 innings, recording a 0.61 ERA. He has 29 strikeouts to 12 walks, using a heavy sinker for a 67.6 percent groundball rate.

GreenJackets infielders Matt Duffy and Mitch Delfino were named All-Stars but are on the disabled list. The league replaced them on the roster with Lexington’s Raul Mondesi and Rome’s Eric Garcia.

LUJAN RETURNS: With Delfino on the disabled list Sunday, the GreenJackets were able to activate left-hander Matt Lujan and give him five innings in the final game before the All-Star break.

Lujan made the most of it, allowing just one hit over five scoreless innings, walking one and striking out six.

Lujan piggybacked off left-handed reliever Mason McVay, who started and threw two innings. The spot start was an effort to keep the rotation on schedule after starters Kendry Flores and Joan Gregorio both pitched in a doubleheader June 11.

Lujan has improved on every start despite an irregular throwing schedule. After allowing five runs in four innings in his second outing, he threw six innings and allowed three runs in his third start. Sunday’s outing was the best of his four after a 17-day layoff.

FALLING SHORT: After fighting to steal a title for much of the first half, the Green­Jackets fell short in their bid to clinch a playoff spot at the All-Star break.

Augusta finished five games behind the Savannah Sand Gnats for the first-half division title, ending up in fourth place. Augusta began the season 16-9 in April and was in first as May began. But a 13-17 mark in May knocked the GreenJackets down in the standings and, despite a 9-5 record in June, they were unable to climb back.


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