Jackets are sizzling

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Another hot and humid night at Lake Olmstead Stadium set the stage for another night of dominating offense Friday as the Augusta GreenJackets pounded out 12 hits in a 9-1 victory over the Rome Braves.

Josh Mazzola, following up on his two homer performance Thursday night, hit his third home run in six at bats with a two-run shot in the fifth inning.

Dom Duggan and Andy D'Alessio also homered in the seventh to blow the game open.

"All of the sudden we're starting to take off," GreenJackets manager Dave Machemer said. "We've been playing good, and seven out of eight is a good number. It's a new half, and we've got to keep it up."

The seven wins in eight games is the second such winning stretch this season for the GreenJackets. All eight games of the current surge have seen Augusta post double-digit hits and average 7.5 runs per game.

"It's great for a pitcher," starter Eric Surkamp said of the run support. "When your team's up early you can just throw strikes."

Surkamp said his performance was the best he's had at home this season. The 2008 sixth-round draft pick struck out seven in seven innings and allowed only five hits to pick up his fifth win.

Left-handed reliever Ryan Verdugo, making his first appearance as a GreenJacket, allowed one hit in a scoreless eighth, and Kyle Woodruff threw a perfect ninth to seal the win.

Augusta's offense scored enough runs to win when it took a 2-0 lead through the first three innings. A sacrifice bunt from Ehire Adrianza set up the first run in the second inning and a double steal put runners in scoring position for Mazzola to drive in the second run with a sacrifice fly.

Small ball gave way to home runs in the fifth. Mazzola's two-run homer gave the GreenJackets a 5-1 advantage and gave him the lead in the South Atlantic League with 52 RBI this season.

"I've simplified things a little bit," Mazzola said. "Instead of forcing things, I'm trying to let natural ability take over. You just try not to do too much."

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.


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