SAVANNAH, GA – Armando Rodriguez tossed seven shutout innings to lead the Savannah Sand Gnats to a 5-0 victory over the Augusta GreenJackets in front of a crowd of 2,685 at Historic Grayson Stadium on Saturday night. RF Cesar Puello was 2-4 with a run scored and two RBI to extend his hitting streak to 10 straight games, matching a season-high for the Gnats (14-21/56-49). The win snaps Savannah's three-game losing streak.
The Gnats took a 3-0 lead with a three-run third inning. With one out, SS Wilfredo Tovar and DH Robbie Shields singled. A wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third for Puello, who brought them home with a line drive single into leftfield. Puello went to second on the throw home and scored on 3B Travis Ozga's single into left for a 3-0 Gnats lead. Puello has hit safely in 18 of his last 19 games.
After working with at least one runner on base in each of the first four innings, Rodriguez (6-6, 3.18) got stronger as the night went on, retiring the final ten men to face him from the end of the fourth inning through the seventh inning. The GreenJackets (18-16/59-45) only put one runner at third base all game long. Rodriguez struck out seven and walked one.
The Gnats added insurance runs in the sixth and eighth innings. In the sixth, 2B Jet Butler doubled, and then came home on two wild pitches. In the eighth, Shields doubled to the left-center field wall, went to third on Puello's groundout and scored on Ozga's sacrifice fly to right.
The Gnats look for the split on Sunday night when they send All-Star LHP Jimmy Fuller (8-3, 1.93) to the mound against RHP Chris Heston (3-11, 4.80).