First baseman Joey Rapp breaks out of funk in GreenJackets' win

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The past 10 games have been a shortened roller coaster ride for the Augusta GreenJackets Joey Rapp.

Rapp broke out of a small funk with a homer as the GreenJackets beat the Rome Braves 2-1 on Tuesday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium.

The big first baseman went 3 for 3, hitting his third home run of the season in the fourth inning, to give Augusta a two-run lead. Rapp’s night ended a 0 for 10 skid spanning three games. Before that, he went 12 for 26 with three doubles and five RBI in seven games.

“I’m starting to trust myself a lot more now,” Rapp said. “That’s what I’ve been working on recently, just trying to trust my hands. It’s good and I’m seeing the ball right now, and hopefully I can keep it going.”

Rapp’s recent hot stretch was his longest and most productive in a season of highs and lows, entering Tuesday with a .236 batting average. Breaking a finger two games into the season is another example of what he has faced this season.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride for him,” GreenJackets manager Mike Goff said. “From Day 1, with the injury, coming back he lost his rhythm a bit, lost his swing a bit, and he’s finally starting to get it back now. Hopefully, he can string some games together.”

GreenJackets starter Kendry Flores was again efficient over 7 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing six hits with seven strikeouts on 86 pitches. He induced most of his swinging strikes early in the outing with an effective changeup.

Flores is working on a 13 1/3-scoreless inning streak that includes 10 strikeouts. The 21-year-old entered with a 2.97 ERA.

“Flores was outstanding again tonight,” Goff said. “I thought he used the changeup against lefties tonight very well.”

Flores outdueled Rome starter Wes Parsons, who allowed two runs on eight hits in seven innings, striking out six.

Augusta (17-18) scored its first run on an RBI groundout by Shawn Payne. With the GreenJackets leading 2-0 in the ninth, Rome’s Edison Sanchez doubled home a run, but he was stranded at second as the tying run.


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