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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: 6/23

José Peraza's first AA home run and Gus Schlosser's strong start highlight yesterday's MiLB action.

Stacy Revere

Gwinnett Braves: 8 vs. Louisville Bats: 1

  • José Constanza, LF: 4-5, R, 3 RBI (20), CS (4), .276
  • Tyler Pastornicky, 2B: 1-4, RBI (2), BB, .282
  • Mark Hamilton, 1B: 1-2, 2 R, 3 BB, CS (1), .248
  • Christian Bethancourt, C: 1-4, R, BB, K, .265
  • Todd Cunningham, CF: 2-4, R, 2B (13), RBI (30), .275
  • Gus Schlosser (W): 7 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 6 K, 11:2 GO:FO, 4.39 ERA
  • James Hoyt: IP, H, BB, 3 K, 0.00 ERA
Gwinnett rode a strong offensive performance and an excellent start by Gus Schlosser to a blowout 8-1 victory over the Reds' triple-A affiliate. Schlosser shut down the Bats, throwing seven strong innings, allowing only a single run. Schlosser generated tons of ground ball outs, as he tends to do, and only walked one batter.  It seems likely that Schlosser's next start will come in the Majors in one of the Braves' two games in Philadelphia on Saturday, and he'll look to build off the momentum of last night's strong outing. Old friend Jair Jurrjens started the game for Louisville, and the Braves only got a pair of runs off of him on a José Constanza RBI single in the third and a Todd Cunningham RBI double in the sixth. Cunningham and Constanza had the two best days at the plate for Gwinnett, with the former picking up a pair of hits and the latter recording a four-hit game. Mark Hamilton was also productive, reaching in four of five plate appearances on the strength of three free passes. The G-Braves will begin a series with the Toledo Mud Hens at home starting tonight.

Mississippi Braves: 7 at Jackson Generals: 4

  • José Peraza, 2B: 3-5, 3 R, HR (1), 2 RBI (5), .522
  • Mycal Jones, CF: 2-4, R, 2B (11), .279
  • Cedric Hunter, LF: 1-4, RBI (39), .311
  • David Rohm, RF: 1-4, RBI (33), .281
  • Kyle Kubitza, 3B: 1-4, 2 K, E (16, fielding), .297
  • Mitch Atkins (W): 6 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, BB, 7 K, 2:4 GO:FO, 3.27 ERA
  • Ryne Harper (SV): 3 IP, H, BB, 3 K, 3:2 GO:FO, 3.14 ERA
The M-Braves forced the Generals to surrender in a 7-4 triumph last night. Let me discuss the pitching first before you start drooling all over your laptop thanks to a certain Venezuelan second baseman. Mitch Atkins started for Mississippi and wasn't great, giving up four runs in six innings on a bunch of hits, but he did strike out seven and walk only one. I guess you could say his outing was...gritty? Ryne Harper pitched well in the final three frames to pick up a save that Fredi González would never allow, striking out three and allowing only two baserunners. Ok, we can talk about Peraza now. He continued to hit for Mississippi, smacking his second home run of the season (first in AA) along with a pair of singles.

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Peraza's getting more and more prospect hype as the season goes on, and hey, it's deserved. Myke Jones was the only other M-Brave with a multi-hit day, doubling and singling. Kyle Kubitza picked up a hit, but also committed his sixteenth error of the season. Personally, in my viewings of him, I've observed that Kubitza's errors usually result due to sloppiness and occasional stone hands. The athleticism and arm strength are plus, but he'll need to shore up his infield play as he progresses through the system in order to become the above-average defender that many, including myself, think he can be. Jason Hursh will take the mound for the M-Braves in their series opener in Birmingham tonight.

Lynchburg Hillcats: 6 vs. Winston-Salem Dash: 5 (10 innings)

  • Kyle Wren, CF: 2-4, R, 2 2B (10), BB, E (5, fielding), .302
  • Daniel Castro, SS: 2-5, R, 2B (13), 3B (3), RBI (32), .294
  • Will Skinner, RF: 2-4, R, 2B (22), BB, .278
  • Eric García, 2B: 1-4, R, 2B (8), BB, CS (3), E (3, fielding), .271
  • Joseph Odom, C: 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR (4), 4 RBI (14), CS (2), .231
  • Jarrett Miller: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 K, 6:5 GO:FO, 4.23 ERA
  • Benino Pruneda (BS): IP, 4 H, 3 ER, K, 1:2 GO:FO, 3.86 ERA
  • Ronan Pacheco (W): 3 IP, BB, 7:2 GO:FO, 3.86 ERA
Lynchburg walked it off in the bottom of the tenth inning on a Joseph Odom sacrifice fly to defeat the Dash and improve their season record to the .500 mark. Jarrett Miller was solid in his start for the Hillcats, going six innings and allowing a pair of runs, although only one was earned. He didn't issue any free passes and pitched to contact, but he put his team in a position to win the game. Unfortunately, Benino Pruneda had a disastrous seventh inning that gave the lead to Winston-Salem, Ronan Pacheco kept the Dash off of the board for the next three innings to give Lynchburg's offense a chance to win it, and they did. Joseph Odom was the star of the game by far, hitting two home runs, his third and fourth on the season, and driving in four runs, including the game-winning sac fly. Kyle Wren and Daniel Castro also had great performances at the top of the 'Cats lineup. Wren hit a pair of doubles and walked in five PAs, although he did commit an error in the field. Castro also had a pair of hits, a double and a triple. The same two teams will face off in the series finale tonight at Calvin Fallwell Field, with Greg Ross taking the mound for the HIllcats.

Rome Braves: 5 at Augusta GreenJackets: 7

  • Connor Oliver, CF: 1-4, R, 2B (9), BB, K, .266
  • Victor Caratini, C: 3-5, K, .288
  • Carlos Franco, 3B: 2-3, R, 2 2B (14), RBI (23)
  • Victor Reyes, RF: 0-4, K, OF assist, .268
  • Connor Lien, DH: 0-3, R, 2 K, SB (3), .212
  • Yean Carlos Gil: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 6:2 GO:FO, 3.54 ERA
  • Richie Tate (BS, L): 1.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, K, 2:0 GO:FO, 4.34 ERA
Despite leading for most of the game, Rome couldn't hold onto a win after allowing three decisive runs to Augusta in the bottom of the third inning. Starter Yean Carlos GIl was strong through four innings, but had a collapse in the bottom of the fifth, allowing four runs. He wasn't hit particularly hard, allowing only singles and walks, but the damage was done nevertheless. Unfortunately, Richie Tate surrendered the runs that lost the game for Rome, getting knocked around in his relief outing. Carlos Franco stole the show for Rome offensively, smacking a pair of doubles in four plate appearances. Victor Caratini also had a nice day, knocking three singles. Victor Reyes continued to be ice-cold at the plate, but he did throw out Tyler Horan attempting to score at home. Rome did suffer an injury casualty, as first baseman Jacob Schrader appeared to suffer a bad knee injury after flying out in the top of the eighth inning.

The same two teams will play at seven tonight at Lake Olmsted Stadium in Augusta.

Danville Braves: 6 at Johnson City Cardinals: 2

  • Keith Curcio, CF: 1-3, 2 RBI (2), 2 BB, .133
  • Sean Godfrey, LF: 1-5, 2 RBI (5), K, .438
  • Tanner Murphy, DH: 1-4, R, HR (1), RBI (5), BB, .143
  • Codey McElroy, SS: 1-4, R, 2B (3), K, E (3, throwing), .412
  • Luis Monasterio, 1B: 2-3, R, BB, .250
  • Gerald Chin, 2B: 2-3, 2 R, 2B (1), RBI (2), .267
  • Andry Ubiera (W): 5 IP, 4 H, BB, K, 3:2 GO:FO, 0.00 ERA
  • Carlos Salazar: 1.2 IP, H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1:2 GO:FO, 0.00 ERA
  • Matt Weaver (SV): 2.1 IP, H, BB, 4 K, 2:1 GO:FO, 2.08 ERA
Danville won the second game of their three-game set against the JC Cardinals by a 6-2 count. Andry Ubiera, who was sent down to Danville after four horrific starts for Rome, was solid in his first Appalachian League start, allowing no runs over five innings of work. Carlos Salazar had mixed results in his relief outing, picking up three strikeouts, but he did allow two walks that were compounded by a Jordan Edgerton error, as the next batter singled home a pair of runs, Johnson City's only runs of the day. Matt Weaver breezed through the final 2.1 frames, striking out four and allowing a pair of baserunners. The D-Braves got contributions from most of the hitters in their lineup yesterday, with every starter outside of catcher Bryan de la Rosa recording at least one hit. Luis Monasterio and Gerald Chin each had two hit days, with Chin pitching in an RBI double. Keith Curcio did a nice job at the top of the lineup, reaching base in three of five PAs via two walks and a single. Alec Grosser will take the mound against the Cardinals in the final game of the series tonight in Northeast Tennessee.

GCL Braves: 4 at GCL Yankees: 12

  • Luke Dykstra, DH: 1-2, K, .500
  • Edward Salcedo, PH-DH: 0-2, .000
  • Dylan Manwaring, 3B: 0-1, 2 R, 2 BB, .400
  • Ray-Patrick Didder, 2B: 1-3, R, BB, .286
  • Erison Mendez, RF: 1-3, 2B (1), 3 RBI (4), .167
  • Félix Falcón (L): 2.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 4:2 GO:FO, 13.50 ERA
  • Carlos Pérez: 0 IP, 2 ER, 4 BB, INF ERA
  • Jhon Martinez: 3 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 6:0 GO:FO, 5.00 ERA
  • Jared Dettmann: 1.1 IP, H, K, 0:3 GO:FO, 0.00 ERA
The GCL Braves lost their third consecutive game to begin their season yesterday afternoon, falling to the Yankees' second GCL squad by a 12-4 score. The Braves used a hodgepodge of pitchers in this game, with Félix Falcón having a rough start, lasting 2.2 innings and giving up four runs. Carlos Pérez, who began the season with Mississippi but has been sidelined since April after an injury, made his first rehab appearance since his injury, and it was disastrous. He walked four consecutive batters before departing. Jared Dettman was the only GCL pitcher not to give up a run in his appearance on the day. The Braves didn't have much going offensively, although there were a couple of interesting notes from the game. First, Luke Dykstra (Lenny's son, and Atlanta's 9th round pick in the draft earlier this month) made his pro debut, and went 1-2 with a single and a strikeout. Second, Edward Salcedo returned from injury, getting a pair of at-bats as a DH. Interestingly enough, the Braves seem to be attempting to convert Salcedo from a third baseman to an outfielder.

Salcedo was disastrous defensively, so maybe going to the outfield will allow him to not be as big of a minus defensively. It still doesn't fix his major offensive flaws, though. The GCL squad will play the Yankees' second squad once again this afternoon.

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