GREENSBORO—The Hoppers dropped their first of the season Monday, falling 7-4 to Augusta despite a feverish rally attempted in the cold hours of the ninth.
Greensboro’s offense was strangely moribund against Joey Marciano and Peter Lannoo, with the home crowd offering little more than ambient noise following the first-inning quick strikes of the GreenJackets.
Malique Ziegler homered on the first pitch from Taylor Braley and Ryan Kirby emphasized things with a two-run bomb three batters later.
Braley lasted three more innings and allowed two more runs, neither earned.
Third baseman J.C. Millan’s error opened up the third for Augusta, leading to an RBI knock by Shane Matheny.
Jhonny Santos picked up an undeserved error on the play, having gathered Matheny’s ball in center and hurled a beautiful one-hopper toward home that handcuffed catcher B.J. López. A frustrated López glanced up unbelievingly and pounded a clenched fist into his mitt.
Lefties Nestor Bautista and Manny Rodríguez each tossed two scoreless for Greensboro. Bautista struck out three in relief of Braley and Rodríguez K’d four in relief of Reilly Hovis, who allowed the visitors to tack on two runs in the seventh, one of which was courtesy of another Matheny single.
Things only became complicated for the Jackets upon the appearance of Camilo Doval in the ninth. Doval walked two and allowed four hits before he could record a third out, in the end giving way to John Russell.
The lone Hoppers run against the starter Marciano came in the third on Sam Castro’s bloop single scoring Zach Sullivan. Micah Brown and Eric Gutierrez notched BI in that eventful ninth.
Edward Cabrera, per MLB.com the sixth-ranked pitcher in the Marlins system, takes the hill Tuesday as the home team tries to bounce back.
The Grasshoppers won their season opener at home against the Hickory Crawdads, taking three of three games from their Northern Division neighbors. Inclement weather postponed a game Saturday, April 7.
As of Tuesday morning, Greensboro was one and a half games behind the leader of the (Double-A) South Atlantic League’s Northern Division. Atop the Sally League board Tuesday morning were the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Baltimore Orioles-affiliated club that has won its first five games in 2018.