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Forsythe Pinch-Hit RBI Double Forces Game Three
Johan Santana Throw Three Innings in Rehab Start
09/09/2011 10:53 PM ET
Blake Forsythe drove home the winning run Friday night.
Blake Forsythe drove home the winning run Friday night. 
SAVANNAH, GA - Rehabbing Cy Young award winner Johan Santana was the story at the beginning, but Blake Forsythe was the story at the end in Savannah's 3-2 win over Augusta Friday night in front of 3,413 fans at Historic Grayson Stadium in game two of the South Atlantic League Southern Division Championship Series. The Savannah win forces a winner-take-all game three for the Southern Division title Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm.

Forsythe entered as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning, and drove a double to left field, short-hopping the wall and chasing C Albert Cordero home from first with the winning run.

Santana threw 39 pitches over three innings for the Gnats. He worked around a one out single in the first, before yielding an unearned run in the second inning. In the second, with one out, he walked GreenJackets' RF Devin Harris. Santana then induced a bouncing ball towards second base from the subsequent batter, LF Michael Mergenthaler. Gnats 2B Luis Nieves fielded, but his throw to second was low and too far towards the left field side for shortstop Wilfredo Tovar, who had gone airborne to elude the oncoming runner. The throwing error allowed Harris to go to third and Mergenthaler to reach first base safely. Augusta C Jeff Arnold then shot a single to 3B Aderlin Rodriguez's left that scored Harris with the game's first run. In the third inning, Santana retired the side in order on nine pitches, while picking up his first and only strikeout.

The Gnats evened the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly from Nieves. Savannah took a 2-1 lead in the fifth. CF Darrell Ceciliani, who was 4-for-4, singled to center to start the inning. Ceciliani scored all the way from first, when Augusta starter Shawn Sanford threw Tovar's sacrifice bunt down the right field line.

Augusta evened the game at 2-2 in the seventh against reliever Taylor Whitenton, who had been scheduled to start game two, before he was pushed to the bullpen by Santana's rehab. Whitenton struck out six in his 3.1 innings.

Adam Kolarek relieved Whitenton in the seventh and stranded two runners before working a scoreless eighth of his own to earn the win. Hamilton Bennett set down the side in order in the ninth to earn the save. Phil McCormick, who gave up the single to Cordero, was charged with the loss.

The Gnats are scheduled to send RHP Erik Goeddel (3-5, 3.39) to the hill Saturday against Augusta RHP Taylor Rogers (12-10, 2.91). First pitch will be 6:05; gates open at 5 pm. The radio broadcast will be internet only on and will begin at 5:50 pm.

Tickets are currently available by calling the Sand Gnats' front office at (912) 351-9150 or by going online to

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs. Comments
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