Even with an 11-game winning streak on the line, the Augusta GreenJackets still couldn't get a handle on the lowly Kannapolis Intimidators.
Kannapolis scored a pair of runs early, a pair of runs late and iced what had been some red-hot Augusta bats en route to a 4-1 victory Wednesday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
It brought to an end what was the longest active winning streak in baseball.
The Intimidators, mired in last place for much of the summer, have won five of seven in the season series and are the only team in the South Atlantic League with a winning record against the GreenJackets.
Augusta (16-4), which gets another shot at Kannapolis (6-13) tonight, made a couple of costly errors, one in each of Kannapolis' two-run frames, but stayed 5 games up on the rest of the Southern Division.
Kannapolis starter Derek Rodriguez had one of his best outings of the season to pick up just his third win, giving up five hits and one unearned run in seven innings. Augusta had won 14 of its past 15 games, but Rodriguez and his relievers allowed only six hits to the league's second-best hitting team.
Rodriguez bested Augusta starter Joe Martinez, who allowed what proved to be the game-winning runs in the first inning. Martinez, who had gone at least seven innings in his previous two starts, pitched well again, giving up two earned runs on six hits in 6Q innings, but took the loss.
Kannapolis touched up Martinez early, the first two batters reaching and scoring for a 2-0 first-inning lead. Paulo Orlando singled and scored on an error off the bat of Aaron Cunningham. Cunningham scored on Hernandez's RBI double to left.
Martinez settled down after the rocky first inning, and the GreenJackets pulled to 2-1 in the third inning against Rodriguez. Kyle Haines and Antoan Richardson each singled to lead off, advancing to second and third on a passed ball. Ben Copeland's foul-ball flyout to left field drove in Haines.
It stayed that way into the seventh, when Martinez allowed a leadoff double to Javier Castillo. Martinez left after a sacrifice bunt moved Castillo to third, and Bryan Millikan came on for Augusta. Castillo scored on catcher Barry Gunther's errant throw on a pickoff attempt for a 3-1 lead.
Cunningham drove in the final run with a single to right center that scored Brandon Johnson.
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