Two straight pitches by two pitchers equaled two towering home runs and not too much fun for the Augusta GreenJackets on Friday night.
First, starter Manny Delcarmen gave up the second of two home runs to Columbus RedStixx cleanup hitter Brian Kirby in the fifth inning. Then, reliever Fabricio Benitez, making his Jackets debut, served up a home run to Rodney Choy-Foo on the first pitch he threw.
Just like that, the RedStixx were ahead 8-0, and the Jackets were on their way to a fourth consecutive defeat, losing 10-1.
"He was up in the zone tonight, and he got behind the hitters and he got up and got hit," Jackets manager Arnie Beyeler said of Delcarmen. "He was unable to locate his fastball, and that's what happens when you're up in the zone. They're supposed to hit those balls, and those guys swing the bats."
It was an unusual outing for Delcarmen, who had won his past three decisions and pitched well for three innings before coming unglued in the fourth.
Delcarmen retired the first eight batters he faced, and though he walked two in the third, he was working on a no-hitter through three innings.
Chad Peshke led off the fourth with a single for the RedStixx, and Kirby hit a 3-2 curveball over the wall in right field. Two batters later, Delcarmen gave up another homer, as Matt Knox hit one to left field, his third of the year.
Delcarmen (6-7) was gone in the fifth after Kirby connected again for his 12th homer of the year. Delcarmen was charged with seven runs - five earned - on seven hits in four-plus innings.
Benitez, who joined the Jackets earlier in the day after a promotion from short-season Lowell, was rudely welcomed to the South Atlantic League by Choy-Foo, who turned on a fastball by Benitez for his seventh home run of the season.
NOTES: Benitez is coming back from elbow surgery last season. He began the year in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before joining Lowell last month. ... The Red Sox placed Jackets catcher/first baseman Bryan Barnowski on the disabled list Friday. Barnowski, who has been nursing a shoulder injury for several weeks, will likely miss the rest of the season. In 67 games, Barnowski hit .187 with a team-high eight home runs and 32 RBI. ... Outfielder Russ Lewis, who has missed the past 21 games with strained ligaments in his wrist, is expected to return to the lineup tonight in Game 2 of the series vs. Columbus. Lewis was batting .292 with seven home runs and 35 RBI in 59 games before the injury. ... The Jackets are still holding out hope that center fielder Antron Seiber, who did not return after the all-star break in June, will rejoin the club this weekend. Seiber, who is 11th in the South Atlantic League with a .303 average, was placed on the suspended list by the Red Sox. Team officials say he is sorting out some personal issues back home in Independence, La.
Reach Rob Mueller at (706) 823-3425.
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