So far, life after Brandon Moss hasn't been too bad for the Augusta GreenJackets.
Going into Saturday's series finale with the Hagerstown Suns, the GreenJackets were 3-0 without their All-Star slugger. Two wins were in comeback fashion, a common theme for this team at Lake Olmstead Stadium, and one was a 6-0 shutout.
When Moss and his .339 batting average and 101 RBI got promoted to high Class A Sarasota on Tuesday, he took most of Augusta's offense with him. The remaining GreenJackets have picked up the slack.
"It's an opportunity for people to step up," third baseman Scott White said before Thursday's game was postponed due to rain.
White, who now has the team lead with a .268 average, was the major source of offense in Wednesday's 7-6, 10-inning win against Hagerstown. The right-handed hitter went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. Dirimo Chavez had just 17 RBI heading into that game, but his 18th came in game-winning fashion in the 10th inning.
In the second game of the series Friday, Robert Evans came up with a two-run single in the fourth inning, then scored the winning run in the seventh inning. Zach Borowiak, who recently took over as Augusta's leadoff hitter after spending most of the season at the bottom of the lineup, laid down three sacrifice bunts and had a bunt single in the series.
The GreenJackets' shortstop is batting .400 with seven runs scored, a home run and three RBI in his past seven games.
Eric Cloninger made an immediate impact in his debut with Augusta. The catcher hadn't hit in about a week since being called up from short-season Lowell, but he showed no signs of rust in Game 2 of Friday's doubleheader.
"The atmosphere was good," Cloninger said. "I felt comfortable."
It showed. Cloninger went 3-for-3 with four RBI in his first three at-bats as he made a good case for more playing time.
He and Mitch Stachowsky are the GreenJackets' two catchers since Jon de Vries and Lance Schartz went on the disabled list. Stachowsky is batting .333 in six games, but has gone just 1-for-8 in his past two games.
CHANGES: The GreenJackets are down to eight players on Saturday's active roster who have been with the team the entire season: pitchers Chris Farley, Gary Galvez, Jarrett Gardner and Kyle Jackson, infielders Borowiak, Chavez and White and outfielder Mickey Hall.
ALUMNI UPDATE: Seven players on the Sarasota roster played with the GreenJackets this year, and several are major contributors. Moss, who made his debut Wednesday, went 2-for-3 and drew an intentional walk.
Shortstop Dustin Pedroia, who began his professional career with a short stint in Augusta, is batting .294 and has still not made an error as a professional. Middle infielder Ignacio Suarez is batting .272 in 60 games with Sarasota.
RIGGS POWERS STINGERS: Former USC Aiken slugger Adam Riggs hit his team-leading 19th home run Tuesday night. Riggs, who plays for Anaheim's AAA affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah, hit two home runs in a doubleheader for the Stingers. Riggs is batting .319 with 67 RBI.
PROMOTION AGREES WITH SHANKS: Former Greenbrier standout James Shanks has been incredible since his promotion to high-A Jupiter. In 27 games, Shanks is batting .371 with five home runs and 18 RBI.
His average has jumped from .307 on Aug. 3 to .371 through Friday with the aid of an eight-game hitting streak. Shanks is batting .533 with eight runs, four home runs and seven RBI during the streak. He was batting .321 for low-A Greensboro at the time of his promotion.
Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3216 or email@example.com.
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