It took nine days, but the Augusta GreenJackets finally picked up their fourth win of the season's second half.
The GreenJackets beat the Kannapolis Intimidators 5-4 in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium. The win snapped a season-worst four-game losing streak for the GreenJackets (4-4), who hadn't won since June 23.
Augusta starter Jonathan Sanchez (3-4) gave up a three-run home run in five innings of work to pick up his first win since May 10. Closer Brian Wilson bailed Doug MacKay out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth before giving up just his third earned run of the season in the seventh. He stranded the tying run at third, though, to earn his 13th save of the season.
The GreenJackets' offense, which had been fairly stagnant during the losing streak, pounded out 10 hits in seven innings and jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first. Leadoff hitter Alex Requena tripled to start the bottom of the first and scored on a single by shortstop Aaron Hornostaj.
Kannapolis (3-5) starter Gary Bakker recovered to retire Augusta's three, four and five hitters in order. Bakker's offense couldn't get anything going against Sanchez, though until the third when the Intimidators had runners at first and third with two outs. Sanchez got third baseman Jose De Los Santos to ground out to second to hold onto the lead.
The GreenJackets' offense and the Intimidators' defense helped Sanchez pad that lead in the fourth. After first baseman Julian Benavidez hit a one-out double, Bakker beaned designated hitter Jason Columbus and Steve Holm singled to load the bases.
Bakker got second baseman Lisandro Disla to ground into what could have been an inning-ending double play, but shortstop Ryan McCarthy couldn't get a handle on the ball. Benavidez scored and the bases remained full for Requena, who grounded into a fielder's choice to score Columbus.
Bakker got himself in trouble when he tried to pick off Requena at first and his throw sailed past first baseman Josh Hansen. Holm scored on the error to give the GreenJackets a 4-0 lead. Bakker finally got out of the inning when Hornostaj grounded out to second.
The Intimidators cut the lead to one run in the top of the fifth. Catcher Donny Lucy hit a one-out double and Sanchez walked No. 9 hitter Charlie Lisk to bring up leadoff hitter Sean Smith. The right fielder responded with a three-run homer to left center. Sanchez retired De Los Santos and left fielder David Cook to finish the fifth and qualify for the win.
Columbus helped ensure Sanchez's win with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to give the GreenJackets a 5-3 lead.
MacKay came in to pitch the sixth and gave up a leadoff single and then loaded the bases with a pair of two-out walks. At that point, Augusta manager Roberto Kelly pulled MacKay and put in Wilson, who struck out pinch hitter Tom Brice to end the inning.
Wilson hit a batter and gave up a pair of singles in the seventh inning, but got McCarthy to pop up to Disla to end the game.
Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.