Augusta GreenJackets get off to fast start in win over Greenville Drive

GreenJackets 4, Drive 1

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A combination of hard hits and poor defense resulted in the first six Augusta batters reaching base Friday night.

A fast start propelled the GreenJackets to a 4-1 win over the Greenville Drive in the first game of a four-game series at Lake Olmstead Stadium.

The GreenJackets scored four runs in the first inning to back a solid outing by left-hander Carlos Diaz, giving them just their third win at home in the past two weeks.

After the first three Augusta (14-14) batters reached by two singles and a walk, an error on Greenville second baseman Wendell Rijo brought home one run.

Rijo committed a second error on a force attempt, allowing two more runs to score. Augusta’s Eugene Escalante followed with an RBI single for a four-run lead before the Drive recorded an out.

Despite the four early runs, the GreenJackets managed just two hits over the final seven innings.

“We didn’t capitalize as significantly as we should have,” manager Mike Goff said. “When you have a chance to put a huge crooked number on somebody, you can’t let those guys hang around.”

The Drive (14-11) scored their lone run in the fourth on an RBI double by Jordan Weems.

The early lead backed Diaz, who allowed one run on four hits in seven innings. The left-hander showed good command of his fastball and changeup to induce 12 ground balls.

Diaz gave up a season-high three walks, but he also completed seven innings for the first time in five starts. Diaz has allowed no more than two earned runs in any outing.

“I felt uncomfortable early in the game, but I made adjustments and worked the corners,” Diaz said through an interpreter. “In the beginning, I was trying to get a feel for the ball. But then I started feeling better and made adjustments.”

Greenville starter Ty Buttrey failed to get out of the first inning in his first start this season. He allowed three earned and four total runs before getting pulled with two outs in the first.

USC Aiken product Taylor Grover threw three perfect innings in relief for Greenville. Grover has allowed one run in five innings this season.

GREENJACKETS 4, DRIVE 1

STAR OF THE GAME: Augusta starter Carlos Diaz allowed one run on four hits in seven innings, his longest outing in five starts.

PLAY OF THE GAME: GreenJackets infielders Ryder Jones and Christian Arroyo combined on a game-ending double play with two on base, started by a diving stop from Jones.

NEXT: Greenville at Augusta, 7 p.m. Saturday


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