Jesus Galindo scored the tying and winning runs late, capping a comeback and giving the Augusta GreenJackets a 3-2 win over the Savannah Sand Gnats in 10 innings on Thursday night.
Galindo reached on a leadoff single in the eighth inning and came around to score on a single by Ben Thomas and error by right fielder Gilbert Gomez, tying the game at 2. With one out in the 10th, he tripled down the right field line and promptly scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Kelby Tomlinson.
“He’s the spark we need,” manager Lipso Nava said. “We’re looking for him to fill in and do those things to help jump start the offense.”
After scoring just four runs in a three-game series at Rome, Augusta (20-25) returned home seeking relief and offense.
Instead, the GreenJackets ran into Savannah’s best arm.
Despite this, Augusta fought back with four hits in the final three innings after recording just two hits in the first six innings to snap a five-game losing streak.
Savannah’s Tyler Pill allowed two unearned runs on five hits in 7⅓ innings, striking out five while not issuing a walk. Pill flashed the command that has given him success so far in his first full season of professional baseball, inducing 14 groundouts.
Pill also recorded nine swinging strikes in his outing, the longest start of his season to this point. His previous high was six innings.
“I feel like I pitched well,” Pill said. “I threw strikes and the defense did a good job behind me. I just try to stay ahead and that makes a big difference.”
Aderlin Rodriguez showed the power that put him on the map as an international signing in 2008, hitting a two-run homer in the fourth to put Savannah (28-18) ahead 2-0.
Augusta responded in the home half of the fourth when a grounder by Brett Krill went between the legs of shortstop Luis Nieves, scoring Jose Cuevas from second base.
Pill held the GreenJackets to the one run and three hits until the eighth, when Galindo scored the tying run. The run chased Pill from the game with one out in the inning.
Augusta starter Chris Marlowe allowed two runs on four hits in four innings, walking one and striking out two. A combination of four GreenJackets relievers pitched six scoreless innings behind him, with Keith Bilodeau earning the win.