Originally created 06/20/03

Augusta loses twice



SAVANNAH - The Augusta GreenJackets finally opened the second-half of the South Atlantic League season Thursday, and it wasn't worth the wait.

Augusta, which had games rained out Tuesday and Wednesday that would have started the second half, lost a doubleheader to Savannah, 3-0 and 6-0.

Three Savannah pitchers held the GreenJackets scoreless in the two, seven-inning games.

In the opener, Nick Long went six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while picking up his second victory in nine decisions this season.

The 20-year-old retired his last seven hitters before Jon Searles closed the shutout with a hitless seventh inning.

In the nightcap, Mike Hinckley went the distance, allowing five hits.

Savannah's pitching staff entered the night 14th in the 16-team South Atlantic League in team earned run average (4.53).

Augusta's Juan Cedeno didn't pitch badly in the opener, but two home runs to the shortest part of Grayson Stadium proved to be part of his downfall.

Left-handed Larry Broadway lifted a fly ball just five rows into the left-field seats in the first inning. Chad Chop also hit a home run, smacking the foul pole 290 feet down the left-field line in the third.

The GreenJackets had only one runner reach third base, but Lee Curtis grounded out to end the fourth-inning threat.

In the nightcap, Hinckley continued to keep the Jackets off the scoreboard. He had help. Right fielder Frank Diaz threw out Hanley Ramirez at the plate in the first inning, beginning the first of four double plays.

Hinckley dominated the rest of the way for the second straight outing. He pitched seven innings allowing just one run the last time out against Capital City (June 13).

After escaping trouble in the first inning Thursday, Hinckley only three more hits.

Offensively, Diaz had three hits, including a double. Brian Ellerson, making his first appearance for the Gnats, hit a two-run homer.

But you can't lose if you don't give up a run.

"Every day our pitching coach (Reggie Jackson) has a meeting with us on what to do against certain hitters," Long said. "I think tonight we took that and ran with it."

NOTES: Gnats right-hander Samuel Martinez was reinstated from the temporarily inactive list Thursday and sent to the Gulf Coast Expos, Montreal's short season affiliate in the Gulf Coast League.

Martinez joined the Sand Gnats roster and was immediately placed on the team's inactive list just two days ago on June 17 awaiting visa approval. Martinez spent last season in the Atlanta Braves organization posting a 1-3 record with a 4.97 ERA in 19 games with the Braves' Dominican Summer League team.