Edwin Escobar allowed one run in seven innings for his fifth win as the Augusta GreenJackets cruised past the Charleston RiverDogs, 7-1, on Sunday evening in South Atlantic League action at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
Charleston falls to 59-52 (20-24 in the second half) with the loss, but can still take three out of four in this series with a victory on Monday. Augusta improves to 53-59 (21-22 in the second half), with the win.
The RiverDogs scored first when, in the second, Reymond Nunez (1-2, RBI) clubbed an RBI double into left that scored Dante Bichette, Jr. After the early run, Escobar (5-7) settled down and pitched shutout ball for the next five frames. Following their run in the second, Charleston picked up only one hit off the Venezuelan lefty. He left after seven, with just that one run against him, as well as three hits and two walks to go with seven strikeouts.
The 1-0 lead held up through four innings, as starter Bryan Mitchell (7-9) stranded men in scoring position in the first, second and fourth, but the GreenJackets finally broke through in the fifth. Kelby Tomlinson started the rally with a single and scored one batter later on an error and a wild pitch brought in the go-ahead run. Another base hit brought up Devin Harris (1-3, HR, 2 RBI, run), who squared one up and hit it out for his third homer of the year to put Augusta up by three. Brett Krill scored the fifth run on another wild pitch, closing out the inning with a 5-1 lead.
In the sixth, they increased their margin to six runs when Carlos Willoughby crossed the plate on a double play and Jose Flores poked an RBI single into left.
Derek Law entered the game in relief in the eighth and retired all six men he faced in two perfect innings to bring the game to an end.
On Monday, both teams will play in the final game of this series, starting at 7:05 pm. The RiverDogs will hand the ball to LHP Matt Bashore (1-4, 4.61) while the GreenJackets will counter with RHP Clayton Blackburn (6-3, 2.64 ERA).