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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: 8/20

Josh Elander keeps hitting, Connor Lien flashes his tools, and Rafael Briceno tosses a gem in a piggyback start.

Josh Elander (right) seems to have finally adjusted to High-A pitching.
Josh Elander (right) seems to have finally adjusted to High-A pitching.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Gwinnett Braves 0, Toledo Mud Hens 5

  • Joe Leonard, 3B: 2-3, .222
  • Ernesto Mejia, 1B: 1-4, .246
  • Stefan Gartrell, DH: 1-4, .276
  • Sean Gilmartin, SP: 4 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 5.63 ERA
  • Ryan Buchter, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.07 ERA
For the second night in a row, Gwinnett was shut out by the Mud Hens. At least this time, they managed to scrape together more than one hit. It's the little victories, right? Joe Leonard was the only G-Brave to reach base more than once, going 2-3. He also played another error-free game, a welcome sight after his spate of errors last week. Sean Gilmartin was not sharp in his start, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits across 4 innings. At least his peripherals look good, as he struck out 6 while walking none. Ryan Buchter continued his excellent work out of the Gwinnett pen, striking out the side in a scoreless inning.

Mississippi Braves 2, Montgomery Biscuits 3
  • Greg Golson, DH: 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, .231
  • Christian Bethancourt, C: 1-5, .289
  • Tommy La Stella, 2B: 0-3, BB, .339
  • Edward Salcedo, 3B: 0-3, BB, .243
  • Aaron Northcraft, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 3.54 ERA
The M-Braves lost a heartbreaker last night, taking the lead in the top of the 9th, only to see usually solid closer Ryne Harper blow it in the bottom of the 9th. Greg Golson was the only M-Brave to reach more than once, going 3-5 with a double and both Mississippi RBIs. Aside from Golson though, Mississippi only managed 3 hits. Aaron Northcraft turned in an excellent start, allowing only 1 runs in 6 innings pitched, whiffing a batter an inning.

Lynchburg Hillcats 6, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 3
  • Josh Elander, LF: 3-5, 2B, 3 RBI, .237
  • Emerson Landoni, DH: 2-5, 2B, RBI, .290
  • Matt Lipka, CF: 0-3, 2 BB, 2 SB(32,33), .260
  • Levi Hyams, 2B: 0-2, 2 BB, SB(4), .174
  • Kyle Kubitza, 3B: 0-3, 2 BB, .253
  • Jarrett Miller, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 3.68 ERA
  • Nate Hyatt, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 4.19 ERA
Lynchburg looked dead in the water after Myrtle Beach scored 3 early, but they roared back with a 5 run 9th to win the game. The big blow came with Lynchburg down to their last out, when Josh Elander cleared the bases with a 3-run double to right. For Elander, the winner capped a 3-hit day for him, and he appears to be showing signs of life after his initial struggles with High-A pitching. Over his last 10 games, Elander is slashing .308/.372/.462. While the power has yet to return, (he slugged .536 in Rome) you can bet it will come around if he continues to hit like this. Matt Lipka, Levi Hyams, and Kyle Kubitza each had 2-walk nights, with Lipka adding a pair of steals as well. Jarrett Miller had a rough start, but used 4 whiffs to escape further trouble.

Rome Braves 4, Greenville Drive 2

  • Kyle Wren, CF: 2-4, SB(26), .317
  • Carlos Franco, 3B: 2-4, 2B, .235
  • Joey Meneses, LF: 2-4, .259
  • Chase Anselment, C: 1-4, HR(4), .256
  • Jason Hursh, SP: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 R(0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 0.67 ERA
  • Rafael Briceno, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K, 6.05 ERA
Rome knocked off the Drive last night thanks to an excellent piggyback start from Rafael Briceno. Jason Hursh started the game and allowed 2 unearned runs on just one hit (a two-out homer). Briceno took over for Hursh in the 3rd, and proceeded to fire 5 shutout innings with 8(!) strikeouts and 0 walks. Kyle Wren had another multi-hit game and swiped his 26th base of the year.

Danville Braves 2, Princeton Rays 3
  • Victor Reyes, DH: 3-5, .304
  • Connor Lien, CF: 2-5, 2B, HR(5), SB(9), .217
  • Bryan De La Rosa, C: 1-3, BB, .278
  • MIchael Flores, SP: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 4.15 ERA
Some sloppy Danville defense led to 2 unearned Princeton runs that would prove to be the difference in this one. Connor Lien had an excellent game, flashing all his tools. Lien went 2-5 with a double, homer and his 9th steal of the year. Victor Reyes just doesn't stop hitting, going 3-5 and raising his average with Danville up to .305. Michael Flores turned in a solid start, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits in 4 innings while punching out 6.

GCL Braves 0, GCL Yankees 3
  • Reed Harper, SS: 1-4, .299
  • Jose Morel, LF: 1-3, BB, SB(9), .291
  • Carlos Salazar, SP: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3.86 ERA
Carlos Salazar's 3rd career start was a bumpy one, as the Braves' 2013 draftee allowed 3 hits and 2 runs across 3.1 innings of work. On the bright side, he didn't walk anyone and struck out 2. On the offensive side, the Braves were only able to scrape together 4 hits today, as the Yankees' GCL squad struck out 13 Braves. Jose Morel was the only Brave to reach base more than once, going 1-3 with a walk and his 9th steal of the year.

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