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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: 6/7

J.R. Graham's strong start highlights yesterday's Minor League action.

Tate Nations

Gwinnett Braves: 2 vs. Rochester Red Wings: 3

  • Phil Gosselin, DH: 1-4, R, K, .326
  • Jose Constanza, CF: 2-3, R, BB, .257
  • Mark Hamilton, 1B: 1-4, 2 K, .264
  • Christian Bethancourt, C: 1-4, 2 RBI (25), .256
  • Joe Leonard, 3B: 1-4, 2 K, .286
  • Yunesky Maya (L): 6 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, BB, 4 K, 6:4 GO:FO, 2.79 ERA
  • Ryan Buchter: 2 IP, H, BB, 2 K, 2:1 GO:FO, 3.69 ERA
The Red Wings flew down to Lawrenceville and toppled the G-Braves in the series opener, winning a close game 3-2. Yunesky Maya got the start on the mound and limited damage despite allowing eleven hits and a walk, allowing only three runners to cross home in six innings' worth of work. Only one of these hits was of the extra-base variety (a double by Eric Farris), so this probably explains how the damage was limited. Ryan Buchter worked a pair of scoreless relief innings, and Kameron Loe worked a scoreless ninth. The Braves' offense got a tough draw last night, facing Twins prospect Alex Meyer. Meyer held the Braves scoreless in six innings, allowing only four hits and a walk. José Constanza had a two-hit game, both singles off of Meyer. Christian Bethancourt picked up a single in four at-bats, a two-run hit that brought home the only runs of the evening for the G-Braves. To be frank, there just wasn't too much action in this contest. Jordan Walden is scheduled to pitch another inning of relief for Gwinnett this afternoon before rejoining the big club, as they face Rochester again.

Mississippi Braves: 1 vs. Chattanooga Lookouts: 0

  • Cedric Hunter, LF: 1-2, 2B (15), BB, .299
  • Matt Kennelly, C: 1-4, R, .314
  • Kyle Kubitza, 3B: 2-2, BB, 2 E (fielding, throwing, 11), .297
  • David Rohm, RF: 1-3, 2B (13), RBI (30), .289
  • J.R. Graham (W): 5 IP, 3 H, 3 K, 8:3 GO:FO, 4.72 ERA
  • Brandon Cunniff: 2 IP, BB, 2 K, 3:2 GO:FO, 2.08 ERA
  • James Hoyt (SV): IP, K, 2:0 GO:FO, 1.30 ERA
I told you guys in yesterday's recap that this game had the makings of a good pitcher's duel, and Chris Reed and J.R. Graham (along with members of the bullpen) came through for me on that prediction. J.R. Graham picked up his first victory on the season, going five scoreless innings, scattering three hits while striking out three batters. Graham still isn't being allowed to throw a ton of pitches (he bumped it up to 74 in this outing), but he was nonetheless able to work through five effective innings last night. Brandon Cunniff, Ryne Harper, and James Hoyt combined with Graham for a shutout of the Lookouts, the fifth time this year that the Mississippi staff has shut out an opponent. The M-Braves' offense was mostly quiet in this contest, but a David Rohm RBI double that scored Matt Kennelly in the bottom of the second inning ended up producing the only run that the team would need. Kyle Kubitza had another solid offensive performances, reaching base in three of four plate appearances to bump his average up closer and closer to the .300 mark. Unfortunately, Kubitza also made a pair of errors, his tenth and eleventh of the season, booting a ground ball and throwing a ball away. Mitch Atkins will look to deliver another strong pitching performance this evening as the M-Braves and Lookouts square off once again.

Lynchburg Hillcats: 6 vs. Salem Red Sox: 7
  • José Peraza, 2B: 2-4, R, 2 SB (30), .331
  • Kyle Wren, CF: 2-5, R, 3B (4), K, .275
  • Levi Hyams, 3B: 2-4, R, 2B (13), 3B (2), RBI (27), .275
  • Kevin Ahrens, DH: 2-4, 2B (13), RBI (27), K, .242
  • Daniel Castro, SS: 1-4, R, 2B (12), RBI (28), .289
  • Edison Sánchez, 1B: 2-3, 2B (9), 2 RBI (17), BB, .231
  • Lucas Sims: 3 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, K, 4:2 GO:FO, 4.82 ERA
  • Navery Moore: 3 IP, 2 BB, 3 K, 2:2 GO:FO, 5.14 ERA
  • Alex Wilson (L): IP, 3 H, ER, K, 0:1 GO:FO, 2.43 ERA
Lynchburg narrowly lost a high-scoring affair last night, dropping their contest 7-6 against Salem, dropping their record to the .500 mark. Lucas Sims had a poor start, pitching only three innings and giving up six runs on seven hits and four walks. Sims, however, may have been dealing with a blister that caused him to be less effective than he normally would be.

Hopefully Sims' rough night was just attributable to a blister that heals up quickly. After Sims' departure, Navery Moore and Benino Pruneda pitched three and two scoreless innings, respectively, but Alex Wilson ceded the game-winning run for the Red Sox in the top of the ninth inning. In more positive news, José Peraza had another excellent night. What else is new? Peraza picked up a pair of singles and stolen bases, his 29th and 30th of the season, leading the Carolina League. Peraza has more stolen bases than strikeouts (28) on the season, which is a testament to his baserunning ability and contact skills. Joe Simpson is somewhere salivating. His partner in crime at the top of the lineup, Kyle Wren, also had a pair of hits including a triple. The Hillcats were double-happy last night, with Levi Hyams, Kevin Ahrens, Daniel Castro, and Edison Sánchez all collecting a two-bagger apiece, but the good offensive night by the Hillcats' offense wasn't enough to trump a poor pitching performance. The Hillcats will wrap up their series against Salem this afternoon, sending Lay Batista to the mound.

Rome Braves: 7 vs. Greenville Drive: 4 (7 innings, Game 1)
  • Blake Brown, LF: 1-3, 2 R, 2B (13), RBI (15), BB, K, .226
  • Johan Camargo, SS: 2-3, R, .264
  • Ross Wilson, 2B: 1-3, R, 2B (2), 2 RBI (5), BB, .323
  • Victor Caratini, C: 2-4, 2 RBI (21), K, PB (4), .302
  • Orrin Sears, DH: 2-3, 2 R, 2 2B (2), K, .278
  • Connor Lien, CF: 1-2, R, BB, K, .200
  • Matt Marksberry: 4 IP, 5 H, ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 3:3 GO:FO, 3.82 ERA
  • Colby Holmes (W): 3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 K, 3:2 GO:FO, 4.29 ERA
In the first game of a doubleheader that was necessitated due to a rainout on Thursday evening, Rome toppled the Drive 7-4. Starter Matt Marksberry certainly didn't limit the baserunners he allowed, giving up five hits and three walks in four innings, but he somehow kept the runs from scoring, largely, allowing only a single runner to cross the plate. This was likely aided by the six strikeouts he racked up; we'll call this being effectively wild. Or something. Colby Holmes proved why pitcher wins are stupid, having a rough outing in which he gave up a trio of runs in as many innings. Rome provided no lack of offense in the first game of their doubleheader, plating seven runs in as many innings. Victor Caratini, who finally pushed his average above .300 after flirting with it for seemingly forever, Johan Camargo, and Orrin Sears all chipped in with two-hit games. Blake Brown did a solid job of setting the table for Rome, as he lead off and reached base twice, walking and doubling.

Rome Braves: 3 vs. Greenville Drive: 5 (7 innings, Game 2)
  • Connor Oliver, CF: 1-4, .266
  • Victor Caratini, DH: 1-4, 2B (10), RBI (22), 2 K, .301
  • Jacob Schrader, 1B: 1-2, BB, .280
  • Carlos Franco, 3B: 1-2, R, 2B (9), BB, .232
  • Carlos Sánchez, C: 1-3, 2B (1), 2 RBI (2), .333
  • Tyler Vail: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 2 E (throwing, throwing, 2), 4:4 GO:FO, 2.39 ERA
  • Andy Otero (L): 2.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 3:1 GO:FO, 4.76 ERA
The second game of the doubleheader didn't go quite as well for Rome, as they lost a 5-3 ballgame. Tyler Vail, the Braves' starter, had quite the line, going two and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs, both unearned. Both runs were unearned as a result of a pair of throwing errors made by Vail in the top of the second inning, which makes me ponder philosophically what an "earned" run truly is, if not that. Andy Otero pitched two and a third innings out of the bullpen and was saddled with the loss after giving up a pair of runs. Pete Pérez also gave up a run in relief. Carlos Sánchez made his debut with Rome in this contest, catching and picking up a double and a pair of RBIs. Sánchez, a 20-year-old native of Panama, spent last season in Danville. Victor Caratini and Carlos Franco also doubled in this contest. Steve Janas will go for Rome today in their series finale with Greenville.

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