Originally created 08/06/02

Jackets escape, then cruise, 7-1



LAKEWOOD, N.J. - The Augusta GreenJackets stared at what should have been a one-run deficit against the Lakewood BlueClaws on Monday night in the fourth inning of the first game of their four-game series. But when Lakewood couldn't push the run across, the Jackets didn't give them a second chance to get ahead.

Augusta scored twice in the top of the fifth and continued to tack on runs from there for a 7-1 victory at FirstEnergy Park and a successful start to an eight-game roadtrip.

Michael Floyd tripled off to start the fourth, the first at-bat for Augusta reliever Josh Thigpen (5-5). But he locked in from there, striking out Ryan Howard and Jeff Delgado before a lineout from Jeff Phelps to end the inning and keep things scoreless.

His teammates took over from there. Jason Bryan hit the first pitch of the fifth inning over the left field wall for a solo homer and a 1-0 lead. Edgar Martinez then doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice and scored on Kris Coffey's RBI single.

The lead climbed to 5-0 in the seventh. On the first three pitches, Martinez hit an infield single, Juan Salazar singled to right and Coffey laid down a bunt single to load the bases.

Bryan Kent got a second chance when the Lakewood catcher dropped a foul ball, and took advantage on a slow groundout to shortstop that pushed Martinez across the plate. John Hattig was intentionally walked to reload the bases and, after a pitching change for left-hander Tim Davis, Daniel Figueroa hit a two-run single for a 5-0 game.

Lakewood got its only run in the seventh, but the GreenJackets got two back in the eighth without getting a ball to the outfield. A walk, a hit batter, an infield single, a passed ball and Hattig's RBI single made it 7-1.

Thigpen, who relieved starter Jerome Gamble, pitched four innings, striking out four and allowing four hits and one run to even his record for the season.