Augusta, GA - The Rome Braves took advantage of sloppy defense by the Augusta GreenJackets in the early innings with timely hitting that led to a 6-0 Braves win in the opener of a four-game series between the teams. The Augusta loss ends the GreenJackets' four-game winning streak while Rome has now won eight straight and ten of their last 12.
The Braves got on the board in the second inning against Edwin Escobar. After a leadoff walk in the inning, Kyle Kubitza's grounder to second looked like a Taylor-made double play ball. But Jose Flores's throw to second went into left to put runners at second and third. After Brandon Drury's RBI groundout put the Braves on the board, Chase Anselment drilled a two-run homer top put Rome ahead 3-0 in the second.
Rome wasn't done there, adding two more in the third. A pair of errors put Ross Hefley on second base while a pair of wild pitches scored Heffley to make it a 4-0 game. Later in the frame, Kubitza's RBI single pushed the lead to 5-0.
The GreenJackets had their best chance to rally in the fourth inning. After Rome starter AJ Holland retired the first nine hitters he faced, the GreenJackets loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk. Holland got Devin Harris to pop out to the catcher and Flores to hit into an inning-ending double play to escape the threat. Brett Krill led off the fifth with a single, which was Augusta's last hit of the game, but the GreenJackets couldn't move him past first base.
Holland (2-7) fired five scoreless innings to get the win in only his second start and third appearance off the disabled list. He allowed only three hits and a walk. David Filak came on in the sixth to retire 12 of the final 13 Augusta hitters, with a walk in the ninth inning as the only blemish on his record. Filak recorded his first save of the season.
Escobar (4-7) allowed five runs - three earned - on four hits and three walks through six innings, striking out five.
Brandon Drury's two-out RBI single in the ninth inning brought home the sixth Braves run of the game.
The loss was only the fifth time all season the GreenJackets have been shut out. They'll look to bounce back on Tuesday with Clayton Blackburn (6-3, 2.71) on the mound. First pitch from Rome comes at 7:05 p.m. with radio pregame coverage beginning at 6:50 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1340 AM and online at www.greenjacketsbaseball.com.
The GreenJackets return home on Friday to open a four-game series with the Charleston RiverDogs. Single-game tickets for any GreenJackets home game are currently available by calling the GreenJackets front office at 706-922-WINS and online at www.greenjacketsbaseball.com.