John Murphy collected two base hits and had a perfect defensive performance in his first career start at first base, but the Augusta GreenJackets defeated the Charleston RiverDogs, 8-1, Friday night in front of 4,322 fans at Joe Riley Park in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs are 3-5 this season and trail this four-game series with two losses to the GreenJackets, whose record is now 5-4.
Augusta opened the scoring in the fourth inning when Tyler Ross hit a bases-loaded, two-out single that scored Brandon Bednar and Devin Harris for a 2-0 GreenJackets lead. Augusta increased its advantage to 3-0 after scoring in the top of the fifth.
Starting pitcher Keury Mella carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before the RiverDogs broke through and also got on the scoreboard. Michael O'Neill walked and reached third base after a stolen base and a wild pitch. Murphy lined a single off Mella's leg to score O'Neill and cut the deficit to 3-1.
The RiverDogs threatened to take the lead during the bottom of the seventh. After reliever Steven Messner picked up two quick outs, Eduardo De Oleo and Murphy recorded back-to-back singles. A Tyler Wade walk loaded the bases and resulted in an Augusta pitching change. Luis Castillo faced Brandon Thomas, who flew out to center field for the final out of the frame.
After escaping a jam on defense, Augusta solidified its lead in the eighth inning. Ryder Jones doubled and brought in Devin Harris for a 4-1 GreenJackets advantage. Two more runs scored on a pair of sacrifice flies that built a five-run lead. In the ninth, Jones struck again with a two-run single that put the contest out of reach.
Game three of this four-game series will be a matchup between RiverDogs RHP Brady Lail (1-0, 1.50 ERA) and GreenJackets LHP Carlos Diaz (0-1, 4.50 ERA).
First pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.