Pumping mid-90s fastballs deep into his outing, Augusta GreenJackets starter Joan Gregorio overmatched a lefty-heavy Lakewood BlueClaws lineup to near perfection on Thursday night.
Gregorio threw seven hitless innings to lead the GreenJackets to an 8-0 win over the BlueClaws at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
Gregorio set a Lake Olmstead season high with 19 swinging strikes. He induced a balanced amount between a fastball that touched the mid-90s, a tight breaking ball that seemed to dart under bats and on shoe tops, and a changeup that faded away from left-handed batters.
“The main thing was I attacked a lot with the fastball,” Gregorio said through an interpreter. “Sometimes I left it up in the zone, but I made adjustments and started commanding the fastball better. That’s why I got good results.”
The tall right-hander’s 10 strikeouts tied a career high for the four-year pitcher, previously set April 17 against the Lexington Legends.
Lakewood (12-15) failed to reach base by hit against Gregorio, but reached twice on a strikeout and wild pitch, and a walk. He seemed to add strength as the outing went on, striking out five in his final three innings.
“My body felt really good,” said Gregorio. “I commanded my pitches good. I used my changeup today and it worked pretty good. I went at the hitters.”
The BlueClaws recorded their first hit off reliever Jake Dunnington in the eighth inning. They loaded the bases before Dunnington stranded all three.
Augusta (12-12) scored two runs each in the first, second, fourth and sixth innings. The GreenJackets were aggressive and made consistently contact against BlueClaws starter Jonathan Musser, who allowed six runs in five innings.
Left fielder Andrew Cain went 2 for 3 with a walk and two RBI. Rafael Rodriguez went 2 for 4 with a double and RBI.