Kannapolis, N.C. – The Augusta GreenJackets (0-1, 36-33) fell on Thursday night to the Kannapolis Intimidators (1-0, 29-40) by a final score of 3-0. Despite another great outing from Gregory Santos, Kannapolis limited the GreenJackets to just five hits and they hung on for the victory.
After Gregory Santos needed seven pitches to retire the Kannapolis lineup in the 1st inning, Michael Hickman drove in the first run of the game on a solo home run off Santos. It was his 4th home run of the season, and it gave Kannapolis a 1-0 advantage.
Santos looked sharp in his 2nd start since returning from injury. The San Francisco Giants #7 prospect turned in five innings of baseball, and he allowed just the one run off the bat of Hickman. In the 6th inning, Kannapolis extended their lead. An RBI double for Lenyn Sosa made it 2-0, and then it was Corey Zangari with a single to bring the Kannapolis lead to 3-0.
The GreenJackets threatened in the 8th inning, by putting two men on, but Diego Rincones grounded-out to end the opportunity. Mikey Edie finished with two of the five hits for the Jackets, but they struggled all night with Kannapolis starter Davis Martin, as he went seven innings of shutout ball to earn the win.
Player of the Game: Gregory Santos, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 K
Gregory Santos continued to look like one of the top prospects in the Giants system on Thursday. Despite the home run he allowed to Hickman in the 2nd inning, Santos has allowed just one run over nine innings in his two starts since he returned from injury.
Tomorrow’s Game: 7:00 PM vs Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox) Intimidators Stadium, Kannapolis, North Carolina
Pitching Matchup: (KAN) LHP Taylor Varnell (3-3, 3.61 ERA) vs (AUG) RHP Blake Rivera (4-4, 3.25 ERA)
Blake Rivera makes his first start of the 2nd half of the season, after he ended the 1st half in dominating fashion. Rivera has not allowed a run in his last 11.2 innings, and the streak started against the Kannapolis Intimidators on June 6th. On that night, Rivera pitched six-innings of shutout baseball and allowed only one-hit. He also had a career high 10 strikeouts that evening. Rivera was a 4th round pick by the Giants in 2018. He was drafted in 2017 by San Francisco as a 32nd round pick, but did not sign and returned to Wallace State Community College for a 2nd year. He is ranked as the Giants #18 prospect according to MLB.com.
Taylor Varnell makes his first appearance on the mound since May 31 for Kannapolis. Varnell was just activated off the injured list, and will try to give the Intimidators a 2nd straight win in this series. Varnell, the 29th round selection by the White Sox out of Oral Roberts in 2018, has pitched in 57.1 innings this year and he has 69 strikeouts to only 17 walks. He’s also limited hitters to a .220 average. This will be his 12th start of the season.