Originally created 07/30/05

Augusta finds groove in split with Greenville



Hello, offense.

After struggling to score in their past three games, the Augusta GreenJackets salvaged a series split with an 8-3 win Friday against the Greenville Bombers at Lake Olmstead Stadium.

The GreenJackets (16-17) scored single runs in the third through sixth innings, and they put up a four spot in the eighth inning to pull into a tie for fourth place with the Bombers (16-17). They had scored nine runs combined in their past three games.

"Every time they scored, we scored back," said Augusta right fielder Brian Horwitz, who went 1-for-4 with two RBI. "That's something you haven't seen from us in a while."

Neither team ever took more than a one-run lead until Alex Requena, Aaron Hornostaj and Horwitz combined to drive in four runs with two outs in the eighth inning.

Former GreenJackets starter Beau Vaughan was out of the game by that point for the Bombers, but took the loss after giving up four runs on eight hits. The right-hander struck out nine.

"He got hurt with some secondary stuff, but for the most part, he pounded the strikezone, had good sink to his fastball," Greenville manager Chad Epperson said. "He turned in a real nice outing. It's a tough way to collect a loss."

Vaughan dropped to 1-4, but actually lowered his ERA to 7.20 from 7.30. The 2003 third-round pick of the Boston Red Sox dug himself into a hole with two six-run performances in his first four outings from extended spring training, but has allowed four runs or fewer in his past three starts.

Right-hander Anthony Pannone made his second start for the GreenJackets and had his longest outing of the year. He held the Bombers to two runs on six hits in five innings, but failed to get the decision when reliever Ben Thurmond gave up the GreenJackets' 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning.

Thurmond (3-4), who pitched two innings, picked up the blown save and the win, while Sean Martin struck out three in the final two innings to earn his fourth save of the season.

Former GreenJacket Claudio Arias, who went 4-for-5 with two home runs Thursday, went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts Friday.

Augusta manager Roberto Kelly said he had his pitchers throw inside to Arias to keep from extending his arms, because, "He was just having a ball with us."

Requena had a little bit of a ball with Greenville on Friday. After a one-game absence from the lineup, the switch hitter went 3-for-5 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBI. He also made a sliding catch to save a run in the sixth inning. Requena wasn't the only Augusta hitter having a good day. Three players had two or more hits and everyone had at least one as the GreenJackets had 13 hits overall.

Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3216 or kristy.shonka@augustachronicle.com.

STAR OF THE GAME: Augusta center fielder Alex Requena went 3-for-5 with a triple and two RBI.

KEY PLAY: Brian Horwitz's two-run single in the eighth inning gave Augusta's bullpen plenty of breathing room in the ninth.

TONIGHT'S GAME: 7:05, GreenJackets at Charleston