Augusta, GA - Jose Flores had two hits on Thursday night - neither of which left the infield - but it was the second of those two that propelled the Augusta GreenJackets to a 2-1 win over the Greensboro Grasshoppers to give the GreenJackets their league-leading 29th one-run victory of the season.
With the game tied at one in the bottom of the ninth, Jeff Arnold doubled to lead off the inning and was replaced by pinch-runner Myles Schroder. After a sacrifice bunt moved Schroder to third, Jesus Galindo was intentionally walked to set up a double play and bring Flores to the plate. Flores hit a dribbler to the left side of the infield with Schroder running for home on contact. Greensboro shortstop Austin Nola's throw home was late and Schroder scored the game-winner for the GreenJackets in their eighth walkoff win of the season.
Greensboro got an early run against Augusta starter Adalberto Mejia - not necessarily a result of the two hits Mejia allowed, but more so a by-product of the two GreenJackets errors in the inning. With runners at the corners and two outs, Matt Smith's grounder to third was mishandled by Flores to allow to first run of the game to score. Mejia settled down and got out of the first without allowing any further damage.
After a bumpy second inning, Mejia found his rhythm in the third. Though he would get a no-decision, Mejia dominated the last four innings of his six-inning stint, allowing a walk and a hit in those frames. He retired eight straight at one point and 13 of the final 15 he faced. All told, Mejia allowed an unearned run on five hits and a walk while striking out four.
The GreenJackets tied the game in the sixth off Greensboro reliever Scott Lyman. Flores hit an infield single to lead off the inning and took second on Lyman's throwing error - one of three Greensboro errors in the contest. With two outs, Joe Staley clubbed an RBI single to tie the game at one. The GreenJackets would leave the go-ahead run at second in the sixth and stranded runners in the seventh and eighth before breaking through with the game-winner in the ninth. All told, the GreenJackets left 11 men on the basepaths.
Greensboro had a great chance to take the lead in the top half of the ninth inning, putting together three consecutive two-out singles. Nola tried to score from second on the third of those hits - a Ryan McIntyre single - but was thrown out at the plate by Galindo to send the game into the bottom of the ninth still tied at one.
Andrew Berger (1-3) got the win in relief, allowing all three of those ninth-inning hits, while Johnny Omahen (1-5) took the loss for Greensboro.
With the win, the GreenJackets improve their record against the Northern Division to 23-13 and have now won 15 of their last 18. Danny Sandbrink (0-0, 2.25) makes his home debut for the GreenJackets on Friday in the second game of the series and will face 2012 Marlins first-round draft pick Andrew Heaney (0-1, 6.75). First pitch comes at 7:05 p.m. with radio coverage beginning at 6:50 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1340 AM and www.greenjacketsbaseball.com. 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.