Tourists shut down Gnats 4-2

SAVANNAH, GA - The Asheville Tourists never trailed in defeating the Savannah Sand Gnats (30-23) 4-2 Tuesday night at Historic Grayson Stadium in the first game of an eight-game homestand.  The Augusta GreenJackets came from behind to defeat the Rome Braves 7-6 tonight in Rome, so Savannah now sits three games out of first place.

The Gnats starting pitcher Collin McHugh pitched well in his first start since May sixth, going six strong innings, giving up three runs, only one of which was earned.   He struck out four and did not walk a batter.  On the other side, Asheville (22-29) starter Wes Musick took a no-hitter into the fifth until C Kai Gronauer's one out double broke up the no-hit bid.

The Tourists went ahead with a run in the top of the fifth on a double from RF Kent Mathes and a two-out single from SS Helder Velazquez.  Asheville made it 3-0 with two unearned runs in the sixth.  With one out, DH Joseph Sanders reached on a throwing error by third baseman Jefry Marte and advanced to third on a right-field double by Asheville 3B Nolan Arenado. Sanders made it home on a sacrifice fly to center fielder Pedro Zapata by first baseman Jared Clark. With two out, right fielder Kent Matthes singled to his own position, driving home Arenado.

The Gnats scored their only two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.  2B Michael Fisher, CF Pedro Zapata and RF Juan Lagares loaded the bases with singles and SS Wilmer Flores and 3B Jefry Marte each brought home runs with sacrifice flies to make the score 3-2.  Marte ran his hitting streak to seven games with a ninth inning single.

Gnats will throw Brandon Moore against Asheville's Jonathan Vargas Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. in the second game of the 4-game series.