Augusta's Kyle Jackson had come close to recording his first win of the season many times.
On Opening Day, he left with a lead, but the bullpen lost it. In his third start he left with the lead, and again the bullpen lost it.
So when Jackson left with the lead Saturday after his best performance of the year, it's likely he didn't get too excited. This time the bullpen held on, and the GreenJackets beat the Lexington Legends, 3-0 at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
The win is the fifth in a row for Augusta (14-21) and Jackson's first in eight starts. The right-hander threw seven scoreless innings and allowed two hits. He walked four and struck out two as he improved to 1-5.
The Legends (22-14) have lost the first two of the series to Augusta after coming to town riding a six-game winning streak.
Lexington starter Matt Albers dominated Augusta's hitters for six innings and left with the game tied at 0-0. But it didn't take long for the GreenJackets to get to reliever Mike Collar in the seventh. Jon de Vries walked to start the inning and moved to second on an Ian Cronkhite sacrifice and to third on a wild pitch.
Kevin Jordan walked and Collar was tantalizingly close from ending the inning with a double play. Ignacio Suarez's grounder was just out of the reach of shortstop Osvaldo Fernando, and the single scored de Vries for the go-ahead run.
Collar got Brandon Moss to fly out to center, but walked Jeff Ontiveros to load the bases. Scott White gave the bullpen some cushion with a two-run double down the left-field line.
The bullpen didn't need the help.
Chris Farley and Milton Tavarez each threw an inning to help Jackson finish off the GreenJackets' second shutout of the season. Augusta's pitching staff has not given up a run in 21w innings. The Legends scored their only runs of the series in the first inning of Friday's 13-inning game.
Jackson allowed seven base runners, but no one reached third.
The closest the Legends came to third was in the first inning. Jackson walked Josh Anderson to start the game, then hit Edwin Maysonet. Anderson tried to steal third, but catcher Jon de Vries threw him out. The Legends stranded a runner at second in each of the next four innings.
STAR OF THE GAME: Kyle Jackson finally picked up his first win of the season, giving up three hits in seven scoreless innings.
KEY PLAY: Ignacio Suarez and Peter Ciofrone teamed up to turn a double play in the fourth with runners on first and second and one out.
TODAY'S GAME: 2:15, Lexington Legends at GreenJackets.
Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.