Willie Corporan began his last start by giving up five runs in the first inning. The right-hander held Lake County scoreless for his final four innings and carried that streak into Monday's start against the Columbus Catfish.
Corporan held Columbus scoreless through the first three innings, but the Catfish finally broke through with two runs in the fourth and went on to beat the GreenJackets, 6-2 at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
Augusta's defense helped Corporan by turning double plays in the first and the third innings, limiting the Catfish's nine hits against him to just three runs in four-plus innings.
"The double play is the best way a pitcher can get out of trouble," said Corporan (0-3) through hitting coach/interpreter Cesar Hernandez.
The Columbus defense helped out reliever Chad Bailey (1-3) in similar form in the sixth and seventh innings, as the GreenJackets wasted leadoff hits by hitting into double plays.
Augusta manager Chad Epperson pulled Corporan after he gave up a leadoff home run to Alejandro De Aza that gave the Catfish a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning.
"He pitched up in the zone ... and he can't afford to pitch up in the zone," Epperson said.
Corporan said the pitch to De Aza was supposed to be a fastball inside, but he left it down the middle.
Kyle Jackson came out of the bullpen and struck out the side in the fifth and retired the side in the sixth with a pair of flyouts and a groundout.
"The curveball was exceptional tonight," said Jackson, who said he's been in good command of his curve, changeup and fastball lately.
Jackson, who moved to the bullpen at the end of July to conserve his arm, has not given up a run in eight innings. The right-hander has only given up one earned run over his past 9Q innings.
Jackson originally had an inning limit of 130, but the Boston Red Sox organization gave him an extra 10 innings to finish the season after Jackson hit 131 on Aug. 15. He's now thrown four of those 10.
"The countdown begins," Jackson said. "I don't like it, but what can you do?"
Epperson's not too thrilled either and said he's going to try to space out those last six innings as much as he can.
"I'm trying to use him in situations where I know he can develop and keep us in the game," Epperson said.
Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3216 or email@example.com.
STAR OF THE GAME: Alejandro De Aza was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle for the Catfish. The outfielder went 3-for-5 with two RBI.
KEY PLAYS: The GreenJackets hit into double plays in the sixth and seventh innings to kill potential rallies.
TONIGHT'S GAME: 7:15, Columbus at GreenJackets.