Augusta, GA - Edwin Escobar dazzled in his second straight start of eight innings or longer as the Augusta GreenJackets earned their second shutout win in a row. The GreenJackets 1-0 win over the Greensboro Grasshoppers is Augusta's sixth win in as many tries this year against Greensboro and fourth by virtue of a shutout.
Brett Krill singled home Shawn Payne as the game's only run in the fourth inning to put the GreenJackets ahead 1-0 after Payne singled to lead off the frame and took second on a groundout.
Escobar (7-7) was dominant early on in his second straight win, picking up seven of his nine strikeouts within the first 13 outs of the game. He retired 16 of the first 18 hitters of the contest. In eight scoreless innings, Escobar allowed four hits and a walk while his nine strikeouts were one short of a season-high. This was the second start in a row where Escobar has struck out nine.
The biggest jam Escobar had to escape came in his final inning, when an obstruction call put the tying run at second with one out. After a walk put the go-ahead run on base and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, Escobar struck out Aaron Senne to end the inning and preserve the 1-0 lead.
Greensboro starter Jake Esch (1-2) was the ultimate hard-luck loser, allowing one run on four hits and a walk in seven very solid innings. Esch struck out four GreenJackets.
With the win - Augusta's 13th shutout win of the season - the GreenJackets move their record against the Northern Division to 25-13. The GreenJackets have won all five 1-0 games they've been a part of this year while the one-run victory is Augusta's league-leading 30th.
The GreenJackets will look to sweep the Grasshoppers for the second time this year in the series finale on Sunday with Clayton Blackburn (8-3, 2.55) taking the mound against Greensboro's Jose Urena (8-5, 3.29). First pitch comes at 5:35 p.m. with radio coverage beginning at 5:20 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.