Simon Klink leads his team and is second in the league in strikeouts.After Tuesday night, the Augusta GreenJackets third baseman also leads his team and is in the top 10 in the league in RBI.
Klink went 2-for-4 with three RBI and no strikeouts Tuesday to help the GreenJackets to a 7-4 win against the Rome Braves at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
It's the second win in a row for the GreenJackets (20-12), who remain tied with the Charleston RiverDogs for first place in the South Atlantic League's Southern Division. The Braves (16-16) have now lost four in a row.
Klink is 4-for-7 with five RBI and one strikeout in the past two games, moving him into a tie with right fielder Brian Horwitz, who has missed the past 11 games with a shoulder injury, for the team lead in RBI. Klink has struck out 37 times this season, but has done a better job of late making contact. He's raised his average to .264 on the season.
"He's been swinging the bat more," Augusta manager Roberto Kelly said. "Before, he was striking out a lot on a lot of called third strikes. Now, he's swinging the bat, and like I tell him, 'Funny things happen when you swing the bat.' "
Klink popped out to second base in his first at bat and lined out to center in his second before dropping in a bloop single to right field in the fifth inning to give the GreenJackets a 5-3 lead. In the seventh, Klink drilled the ball to the warning track in left center to drive in Augusta's final two runs of the game.
Augusta starter Jonathan Sanchez (2-1) earned his first win since April 13th by holding the Braves to three runs in five innings, while striking out seven. Anthony Moreno earned his first save of the season with a perfect ninth inning.
Sanchez strolled through the first three innings, striking out a pair per inning, while allowing just two base runners. The left-hander said after the game that he was hitting his spots early in the game, but that control started to disappear in the fourth. Sanchez walked two in the fourth, but got out unharmed. Augusta designated hitter Brad Vericker gave his teammate a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice to center field in the bottom of the inning.
The lead was short-lived, however. The Braves sent nine batters to the plate and tagged Sanchez for three runs in the fifth inning to take a 3-1 lead.
"He definitely lost his command of the strikezone (in the fifth), and when you do that, you're going to fall behind and get hurt," Kelly said.
Sanchez escaped the inning by getting Johan Silva to line out with the bases loaded.
His teammates came through for him in the bottom of the fifth inning with a four-spot on Braves starter James Parr.
"They did the work that we needed to win the ball game," Sanchez said.
STAR OF THE GAME: GreenJackets third baseman Simon Klink went 2-for-4 with three RBI.
KEY PLAY: Klink's two-run double in the seventh inning gave the GreenJackets bullpen some breathing room against the visitors.
TONIGHT'S GAME: 7:15, Braves at GreenJackets at Lake Olmstead Stadium
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