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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: 8/2

Tommy LaStella extended his hit streak to 20 while Christian Bethancourt reached base in his 30th straight game.

Tommy LaStella
Tommy LaStella
Ed Gardner

Charlotte Knights 8, Gwinnett Braves 2

  • BJ Upton DH: 1-5, 2B (3), 3K
  • Philip Gosselin 2B: 2-4
  • Stefan Gartell RF: 2-4, HR (7), 2B (7), 2R
  • Joe Leonard 3B: 1-4
  • David Hale: 6IP, 6H, 4ER, 3BB, 7K
  • Ryan Butcher: IP, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K

Gwinnett got behind early and couldn't mount enough offense to overtake Charlotte Friday night. In his third rehab game, BJ Upton doubled and struck out three times at DH. Stefan Gartell and Phil Gosselin each had multi-hit nights, Gartell going deep and gapping a double, scoring both of the team's runs. Omar Poveda threw six innings, giving up seven runs, with only four earned, walking three and striking out seven. He threw 70 strikes on 114 pitches.

Mississippi Braves 13, Huntsville Stars 2

  • Mycal Jones CF: 2-5, BB, 2R
  • Christian Bethancourt C: 1-3, BB, R, SB (10)
  • Tommy La Stella 2B: 2-4, HR (2), 2B (11), BB, 3R
  • Edward Salcedo 3B: 1-2, 2BB, 2R
  • Jamie Pedroza SS: 3-5, 2B (10), R
  • Christian Marrero 1B: 2-5, HR (7), 3B (5), 2R
  • Dan Brewer LF: 1-5, 2B (13)
  • Aaron Northcraft: 5IP, 4H, ER, BB, 6K
  • Andrew Russell: 2IP, 3H, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
  • James Hoyt: IP, 0H, 0ER, 2BB, 2K

Mississippi brought out the bats Friday night, scoring 13 times on 15 hits and five walks. The offense was spread throughout, which included Tommy La Stella extending his hitting streak to 20 games. La Stella went deep, doubled, and drew a walk, scoring three times, bumping his 2013 season triple-slash to .358/.443/.480. I noted in TC’s mid-season prospect report that La Stella could "flat out hit" and praised his recognition of the strike zone, something that would play well as he advances levels. I think a promotion could be in store considering he is 24 years old, advanced in age for his level, and has shown to be able to handle Double-A pitching.

Christian Bethancourt also got in on the action going one for three with a walk (!). If you’ve been following along, he has now reached base in 30 straight games. He also stole his 10th bag of the season. Top 10 prospect Edward Salcedo also reached three of four times at the plate including two walks. 26-year-old Jamie Pedroza went 3-5 with a double, driving in six runs at the plate. A final player of note Friday was Christian Marrero who hit his seventh home run and collected his fifth triple.

On the mound, Aaron Northcraft went five strong, allowing only four hits and a walk and striking out six. Unsurprisingly, the ‘pen was able to close out the final four innings.

Mississippi Player Stats

Salem Red Sox 5, Lynchburg Hillcats 4 (F/11)

  • Matt Lipka CF: 2-6, CS (12), E (3)
  • Kyle Kubitza 3B: 2-4, HR (10), BB, R
  • Shawn McGill 2-5, 2B (14)
  • Josh Elander LF: 1-45 2B (6)
  • Elmer Reyes SS: 2-5, 2B (21), R
  • AJ Holland: 3IP, H, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
  • Nate Hyatt: 2IP, 3H, 0ER, BB, 3K

Lynchburg played in an exciting extra inning contest Friday but took the loss, 5-4, in 11. Salem, down 3-2 in the 9th, rallied and scored two before Lynchburg then answered in the bottom half, plating one run to send into extras. Robert Fish wound up surrendering the lead in the 11th. Lynchburg used six pitchers, and none went more than three innings or faced over a dozen batters. The offense did put together a 14 hit performance, but couldn’t string them together at the right times, going 2-for-10 with RISP, leaving nine men stranded. Kyle Kubitza reached three of his four times, hitting his 10th home run of the season in the third. In a rather unusual note, right fielder David Rohm had two outfield assists, one at home and one at first base – something you don’t see every day.

Lynchburg Player Stats

Lexington Legends 1, Rome Braves 2

  • Kyle Wren CF: 3-4, 2B (7), R, 3 SB (19, 20, 21)
  • Jose Peraza SS: 0-4
  • Eric Garcia 2B: 3-4, 2B (10), E (7)
  • Joey Menses LF: 2-3, R
  • Jason Hursh: 5IP, 4H, 0ER, 0BB, K
  • Patrick Scoggin: 2IP, 2H, 0ER, BB, K
  • Shae Simmons: 0.2IP, 0H, 0ER, BB, 2K

Rome’s two runs in the first two innings proved to be enough Friday, holding off Lynchburg 2-1. Braves first round pick Jason Hursh was extended out to five innings in his sixth pro start, giving up four hits, recording one strikeout. He has yet to give up a run in his 18 innings of work. The strikeout-to-walk hasn’t jumped off the page so far at 14:7, but it’s good to see him having early success and inducing what seems to be a lot of weak contact. Shae Simmons closed the door for his 24th save of the season, recording two outs, predictably via the strikeout. Kyle Wren got back to doing Kyle Wren things, going three for four with a double, stealing his 19th, 20th, and 21st bases of the season (third base twice). Eric Garcia also roped out three hits, including his 10th double of the season.

Rome Player Stats

Pulaski Mariners 9, Danville Braves 3

  • Connor Lien DH: 0-4, BB, R, OF Assist
  • Johan Camargo SS: 1-4, BB, R
  • Alejandro Piloto RF: 2-4
  • Seth Moranda 2B: 2-4
  • Michael Flores: 3.1IP, 7H, 4ER, BB, 3K
  • Matt Kimbrel: 1.2IP, 6H, 4ER, BB, K
  • Colby Holmes: 2IP, H, 0ER, 0BB, 3K

The floodgates opened against Danville in the fourth, allowing seven runs scored, which essentially put the game out of reach. Michael Flores went 3.1 innings, giving up four earned on seven hits. Matt Kimbrel was roughed up again and has now given up 23 earned runs in 19.2 innings, also walking more guys than striking out. Alejandro Piloto, Seth Moranda and Jackson Laumann each collected a pair of singles, accounting for most of the Danville offense. Connor Lien walked and scored on offense and showed off his arm on defense, throwing out Gabrial Franca at the plate.

Danville Player Stats

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