Augusta GreenJackets photo from the April 5, 2024 season opener. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News
Augusta GreenJackets photo from the April 5, 2024 season opener. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News

Augusta held scoreless through seven on May 15, drops second straight game

(Story courtesy Noah Adcock-Howeth with the Augusta GreenJackets)

NORTH AUGUSTA – The Salem Red Sox have held the Augusta GreenJackets scoreless for the first 16 frames of this week’s series with the Jackets, breaking through for a run in the eighth that would prove to not be enough in a 4-1 loss May 15 at SRP Park.

Salem came in to the week as a team with plus pitching and sporadic offense, and the scouting report has held true. Said offense has found clutch moments to break through, and they’ve taken a 2-0 series lead in the first of 12 total meetings this season between the GreenJackets and the Red Sox.

GreenJackets’ starter Cade Kuehler struggled with command at times, but worked around a career high 6 walks to allow just one across 4.2 innings. His only run allowed came via an Albert Feliz single. Feliz had the best game of his year, smacking three hits and walking once in a perfect day that included the RBI and a pair of runs scored.

Salem turned to southpaw JoJo Ingrassia for his first professional start, and the opener worked 2.2 hitless frames while walking four and striking out the same number. Ingrassia’s walks caused an early hook, but was supplanted in the third by Nathanael Cruz, who forced Will Verdung to pop up to strand the bases loaded in the third.

Kuehler was chased in the fifth with two men aboard, and Augusta turned to William Silva, who held the deficit at one with an emphatic strike out of Marvin Alcantara. Silva would strike out three more in the sixth without allowing a hit in the best outing of his year before departing in favor of Beau Philip. Philip was tagged for three runs on seven hits in three frames, including a two-run single in the ninth from Antonio Anderson that would prove insurmountable.

Augusta did get on the board for the first and only time in the eighth against Jedixson Paez, a converted starter making his first relief appearance of 2024. Paez worked three scoreless, but allowed a Diego Benitez double off the wall in left field that scored Verdung, who had reached on an error to begin the inning. Paez would punch out the next two hitters to leave the tying run stranded in scoring position, and Alcantara’s single got the runs right back. The GreenJackets went down quietly in the ninth against closer Max Carlson, who picked up his fourth save in five tries.

Augusta falls to 15-19 on the year and 6-10 at home, dropping the first of what will be six straight contests hosting Salem. The Red Sox will again turn Thursday to a man making his first start of 2024, as Trennor O’Donnell takes the ball after five dynamic relief performances this season. He’ll match up with Mitch Farris, back in the rotation for the second straight week and having gone five scoreless innings against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on May 9.

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