Originally created 05/30/99

GreenJackets get stifled by Macon



MACON, Ga. -- Two years ago, Winston Abreu had the elbow on his pitching arm surgically opened and rebuilt.

He couldn't pick up a baseball for a year and when he came back last year with a terrible season at Eugene, Ore., it looked like he was one of a number of once-promising pitchers whose career was cut short by injury.

In two months this season, Abreu has shown his future remains bright. A top prospect before the debilitating injury, the 6-foot-2, 170-pound right-hander is moving up the prospect lists again.

Abreu dominated the Augusta GreenJackets in their South Atlantic League encounter on Saturday night, striking out nine, walking one and holding the Jackets to one hit.

It was the sixth time Abreu has struck out seven or more batters.

Augusta was able to score a run in the top of the ninth against relief pitcher Brad Voyles, but got just one other hit in the 6-1 loss.

"I've worked hard for this," said the native of the Dominican Republic, who worked six innings to push his record to 4-2. "I'm thinking I throw harder now."

He was supported by his teammates who hit a home run, triple and three doubles among the eight hits given up by Augusta starter Josh Hancock.

The win was Macon's third straight over the GreenJackets. The Braves trailed Southern Division leaders Columbus' RedStixx by 1 1/2 games going into Saturday's contest.

The series continues today (at 2 p.m.) and Monday (7 p.m.) at Luther Williams Field before the Braves followed the Jackets back to Augusta on Tuesday for a two-game Lake Olmstead Stadium stand.

Probable starter for Augusta is Alexander Solano, while Horacio Ramirez is due to start for the Braves.