BURLINGTON, N.C.- Burlington Royals RHP Nathan Webb was dominant over six shutout innings in his Tuesday start against the Greeneville Astros. Webb scattered three hits and a walk, striking out six, but lacked one thing: run support.
In the bottom of the seventh, it came. DH Benji Cash hit a two-run homer, the first of his career, opening the floodgates for Burlington. When the dust cleared, Burlington had earned a 7-0 win.
Webb allowed a double and a walk to begin the top of the second, but a fielder's choice groundout and double play got him out of trouble. The double play was the start of a string of 12 consecutive Astros retired, a span that took Webb into the sixth inning. RF Gilberto Celestino hit his second double of the game with two out, but Webb struck out 3B Brody Westmoreland to keep the game scoreless.
RHP Connor Mayes relieved Webb in the seventh, and retired the Astros 1-2-3. Burlington had been unable to muster any offense against Astros RHP Leovanny Rodriguez , who struck out seven over five innings, and LHP Tim Hardy , who pitched a scoreless sixth. Hardy remained in for the seventh, and surrendered a leadoff double to SS Jeison Guzman . C Jesus Atencio singled to left, and Guzman tried to score. The throw to the plate was in time, and Atencio was left as the only man aboard with Cash coming to the plate. On the first pitch he saw, he hit a ball 404 feet to left, clearing the fence for his first homer of his career. Burlington (18-22) led 2-0.
The Royals added insurance later in the frame. 3B Ryan Dale walked, took second on a groundout, and advanced to third on a single from LF Cal Jones . A wild pitch allowed Dale to score, pushing the advantage to 3-0.
After Mayes kept Greeneville (21-17) off the board in the top of the eighth inning, the Royals blew the game open in the home half. 1B Reed Rohlman led off with a single, and 2B Oliver Nunez followed with a walk. Guzman sacrificed the duo into scoring position, and both scored on a single to right field from Atencio and an error on the throw back into the infield. Cash walked behind Atencio, setting up CF Michael Gigliotti for a two-RBI double.
Mayes tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to preserve the 7-0 win.
Cash, who had doubled in the third, was one of three Royals - joining Gigliotti and Atencio - with a multi-hit game.
The Royals will enjoy an off day on Wednesday, leading into a six-game road trip that includes stops in Elizabethton and Greeneville, Tenn. The Royals and Elizabethton Twins will open a three-game series on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at O'Brien Field. LHP Daniel Tillo (0-0, 4.50) starts for the Royals. The game can be heard at www.elizabethtontwins.com.
Burlington will return home on Wednesday, August 9 to face the Pulaski Yankees at 7:00 p.m. It will be Reader Appreciation Night! Children who complete the Alamance County Public Libraries and B-Royals' Reading Program will be celebrated with an on-field parade before the game. The game is the start of a season-long seven-game homestand. The homestand will feature a Thirsty Thursday, a Fireworks Saturday, and a Dollar Monday! For tickets, call (336) 222-0223 or visit www.burlingtonroyals.com.
Burlington 7, Greeneville 0
WP: Connor Mayes (3-0)
LP: Tim Hardy (1-2)
HR: BUR- Benji Cash (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.